Is migration an unintended consequence of the introspective agricultural policy?

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Is migration an unintended consequence of the introspective agricultural policy?

A hundred years ago, Britain ruled the waves and most of the land. France, Germany, Portugal and the rest of Europe dominate the map with no pink parts. Now the world is a better place, and now people rule themselves, but we ignore a small detail.

Europe’s stomach and taste is partly overseas. Europe is an important market for agricultural products, benefiting from reliable supplies of cheap food. Many overseas farmers have a safe and profitable market. These territories themselves are on the path to economic development. Both sides are using their comparative advantage.

In the 1950s, European countries began to consider the establishment of the European economic community. Clearly Germany will be an industrial powerhouse. If European agriculture were to be cultivated, France could become a major agricultural country in Germany. But if France continues to import cheap food from abroad, they will not be equal.

France faces a dilemma. Either it can go into the European Community, stop importing food from the empire, or refuse to declare it to the European Community. The French chose the European Community, which explains the end of European food imports.

The loss of European markets is a shock to foreign countries. The economy wavered, and in the 1960s and 1970s, Europe and America, like America, dumped their surpluses into newly independent states. Not surprisingly, growth has slowed and living standards have stagnated.

The real problem, however, is that European agriculture is no longer sustainable.

Europe itself is more prosperous than the economic difficulties and dependencies of the former colonies. Living conditions between Europe and its neighbours have gradually widened. It is this difference that drives economic migration to today’s conditions.

If Europe does not shut down the rest of the world, many countries will grow with us. In this sense, the migration crisis is an unintended consequence of our introspective agricultural policy.

The real problem, however, is that European agriculture is no longer sustainable.

In the 1960s it was enough to produce one tonne of food per hectare. The population of Europe has increased by 50% and the arable land has shrunk, so we have started to try the meat diet. Five times as much is left for every hectare. Agriculture has been strengthened to the extent that it can undermine its foundations: the fertility of the soil.

So Europe faces two big challenges. One is immigration. The bottom line is the gap in living standards, which is ultimately due to a lack of growth in poor countries. The second challenge is our own unsustainable farming practices that require proper greening.

Perhaps one challenge can help solve another.

Farmers must adopt eco-farming methods – reducing the cost of pesticides, antibiotics, fertilizers and fossil fuels. But less investment means less production, and less production if eco-farming is adopted. That means farmers won’t make as much money from agriculture.

Although farmers realize the benefits of eco-agriculture, no one wants to be bad. For many, the past decade has been very hot because of low prices. However, lower yields may be offset by higher agricultural prices. Net farm income may remain the same. Farmers don’t have to get worse when it comes to eco-agriculture.

Those who object to imported food should bear in mind that it was standard practice before a common agricultural policy was introduced in the 1960s.

If our farmers’ commodity prices are rising, does that mean that food prices in supermarkets will rise? Unnecessary. The impact has been diluted as higher raw material costs have fallen on the food chain. Moreover, consumers’ disposable income will rise as the economy recovers. A new policy could be devised to allow consumers to continue to pay the same proportion of food – about 15 per cent of income.

Less food produced in Europe means a return to imports. That is the trump card: if Europe imports food from poorer countries, it will provide farmers with markets they don’t have. After 55 years of disruption, the economy will be more prosperous and the economy will return to growth. There will be fewer migration motivations.

Those who object to imported food should bear in mind that it was standard practice before a common agricultural policy was introduced in the 1960s. There has never been an unreliable supply problem. In fact, Europe experienced only one interruption in the supply of any foreign commodity, during the oil crisis of the yom kippur war of the 1970s. Europe now maintains a precautionary oil reserve. It can maintain a precautionary food reserve.

In the end, who will pay for the proposed cost? Part of our annual growth in disposable income, caused by economic growth, will return to the agricultural sector, not in our pockets. Since everyone will benefit, it is fair to pay the price.

If Europe continues to destroy soil, we have neither farms nor food security. But ecological agriculture can save us, drive the economic development of poor countries, and reduce economic migration.

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