Feeding the nation

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

russian-dacha1The first and foremost job and task of a farmer is not to produce for the export market but it is that of feeding the nation. Export should never be (seen as) the first priority but, alas, with many, especially the large corporate farms, it would appear to be just that. One only needs to hear them when they talk about how this or that regulation might interfere with their ability to export their produce. Any surplus, after the needs of the nation have been satisfied, that is for export but growing specifically, as seem seem to be doing, for the export market is not in the brief. First feed the nation.

In order to produce more produce – no, it's not a typo – to feed the nation we have have to get more people back on the land to actually grow the vegetables, etc. that are needed in the country rather than to be producing for export. That would also mean reducing the grasslands and reduce beef production, grasslands that today are wasted – for some grassland pastures are not on marginal land. And as far as so-called “marginal lands” are concerned, if crops cannot be grown then let's plat trees there.

Prehistoric man did not settle to raise cattle. He settled in order to crow crops. It was arable mixed farming. He did domesticate animals as well; cattle, sheep, goats, horses – though even the nomadic ones did that. But predominately prehistoric man settled to grow a garden and a farm, crops for food, so he did not have to hunt and gather.

Once again, also in this regard, it would appear that we don't just need a system change but a full revolution. A revolution of land use and of agriculture. A proper land reform and agrarian reform.

Comments from our politicians such as one some time in 2016 or thereabout who said: “we don't really need farmers in Britain. We can get all the food we need from abroad” show what morons the people permit to rule over them.

In order to get to this new peasantry system, however, requires, a full about turn. Only a complete land reform and agrarian reform will make such proper agriculture for the people by the people, so to speak, possible.

The current system, ever since the Second World War, or thereabouts, is not benefiting the people of the country at all and despite the fact that the farmers grow a lot for export, and seem to be looking for export opportunities before they ever look to sell to the home market, they cannot – or so they try to tell the world – make ends meet without large subsidies, including payments from the European Union.

Vast areas of our countryside, of areas that could grow food (and trees) are not utilized properly and are, predominately, “sporting” estates in the hand of the so-called landed gentry and the aristocracy. It is time that the land and woods were (back) in the hands of people willing to live on the land and make a living from it and produce food, wood and wooden products for the nation.

On the farming side we need many small farms, as the dacha system in Russia has shown, rather than large agricultural factory farms. This is also the way forward as regards to biodiversity and protection of soil and water. We need a low impact and low input agriculture – low input as in little in the way of chemicals and such like for it will have a lot of input by way of labor – rather than high intensity agriculture that we have at present, which is destroying the very soil that all life depends on.

Let me recap once again: The job of the farmer is... feeding the nation and the job of the forester is... producing timber for the nation. Everything else is secondary. Export is for any surplus that may be but should never ever be the primary thought. Alas, though, it appears to be that at the moment and that needs to change.

© 2017