Wednesday, December 23, 2009

They Were Wrong:

A few years ago a big theme among the international non-governmental organizations who focused on agriculture was decrying the absurdly high US subsidies to cotton.  End the subsidies, and people in Burkina Faso and other nations could make money planting cotton.  Well, as I like to point out, things are more complicated than often supposed, particularly by self-righteous advocates (of most any position, except those who agree with me).  A case in point is this article discussing the problems faced by cotton growers in Mississippi.  (Nationally, our production has declined from 20+ million bales 3 years ago to about 12.5 million bales this year, all without major changes in the cotton subsidy program, at least that I know of.)

Note:  I have to note the change out of cotton might possibly reflect the "Freedom to Farm" changes of the 1996 farm bill, of which I've been critical, or it might simply reflect that globally people would prefer to eat meat than wear cotton.

No comments: