Saturday, December 30, 2006

Agricultural Subsidies

The West is spending more than a billion dollars a day on agricultural subsidies. Agricultural subsidies are the root cause of poverty in many countries of the world. It is very nice to pay a few billion dollars in the debt reduction to least developed African countries. The Western singers organize concerts for the debt reduction and poverty alleviation. However, these singers seldom raise their voices against agricultural subsidies and the unfair trade system. The poor people of the world do not want the Western charity. The Western people should realize that one of the major reasons behind the poverty is the unfair trade system imposed by the West. Free trade is a cover up to exploit poor people of the world.

"European cow receives $2.50 per day in government subsidies and the average Japanese cow receives $7.50 in subsidies, while 75 percent of people in Africa live on less than $2 per day", the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Nicholas Stern pointed out this disgraceful policy of the industrialized world in 2002. Meanwhile, 2.7 billion people survived on less than $2 a day and 1.1 billion people had earned less than $1 per day according to the World Bank in 2001. However, this situation has not changed since then. The West and its allies are continuing to spend billions of dollars on their rich farmers. The industrialized world is mainly composed of the West and its allies like Japan.

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) governments gave € 225 billion ($300 billion) as agricultural subsidies to farmers in 2005. OECD member countries such as the USA portray itself as champions of the free trade. However, the USA's stance on agricultural subsidies is based on sheer hypocrisy like most of its policies.

These stark facts show that the talk of the free trade by the West is a smoke screen to divert the attention of poor masses of the world from the real issue of neo-colonial agenda of the West. Champions of the free trade from the West are silent on various issues such as agricultural subsidies. They are not opposing the trade barriers erected by the West. However, they are quick to criticize developing countries for not allowing the West to exploit their economies. The West and its politicians are renowned for hypocrisy and double standards.

The only way out for developing countries is to unite against the cruel policies of the West to save poor people of the world.


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