What the farmer learned

Farmers protest rising costs and competition from imports, in Athens, Tuesday. 'The absence of concern or a plan for the development of the agricultural economy,' the author says, 'will gestate the next round of problems and, with it, more anger.' [Reuters]

What is the problem with our agricultural economy? If it was only or mainly about money, the huge amount of funding that has flowed into Greece as income support and subsidies for investments from European funds after the country joined the European Economic Community (EEC), would have solved all its problems. On the contrary, it appears that agricultural production is shrinking and our dependence on food imports is growing. In the last 10 years, agricultural land has shrunk by 26%, without the corresponding creation of larger, healthier units.

For decades, we relied on the easy money we collected from Brussels and refused to design a modern model of agricultural production, or to decide what kind of agricultural economy we want, what we want to produce. It didn't matter how we would use the funds of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The only thing that concerned us was...

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