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MayorMeanBeans

Famine and Foreign Food (and other Intl Development Stuff)

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Alright before i start this i need to say that this is not necessarily the best solution to ensuring everyone can eat, but i am only working within the boundaries. no revolution on this side.

 

so a common argument against dumping mad food on famine-areas is that it fucks over the local farmers, which leads to a dependency on foreign food. this happens all over (ethiopia has it particularly bad).

 

however, what if, instead of dumping food, you dump money on only middlemen with an understanding that they are now food merchants. that money has a spillover effect into a local farmer. this pushes up demand for the farmers, thereby raising prices. THEN, once these prices have risen to an inappropriate level, inject that local economy with foreign-grown food, pushing the prices down to the original level.

 

the ideal price (p*) should situate where the 2nd poorest quintile of the population's baskets of food are. the bottom fifth will remain dependent on other means (most likely aid agencies), while food will be essentially guaranteed for 80% of the population.

 

most importantly, foreign supplies of food enter without disrupting the economy, and the solution remains local. i think its safe to assume that a mayor of 20 years in a town might know his people better than Mr. IMF.

 

I dont know how many Development people there are on here, but i think 12oz should have a thread about the economics of Intl Development.

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you dump money on only middlemen with an understanding that they are now food merchants.

 

The problem is if they are locals(which would be ideal), and their country has these types of problems, most of that money is going to go to the pocket account and there is nothing you can do about it.

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true-

 

i guess it becomes an issue of making the situation of raising incentives high enough that the opportunity cost of being corrupt becomes too high.

 

granted, raising incentives that high may cease to make any product profitable.

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Looking past the issues of controlling the distribution of money in what are usually corrupt countries (as stereotype has said), won't dumping money have a simple inflationary effect that once again balances out the supply/demand equation so that the farmers returns are still worth fuck all?

 

Dumping money in one sector of society will surely only make that sector disproportionatly powerful and assuming that they allow that capital to spread to society the economy will just make that dollow value adjust to suit local conditions rather that the local change to suit the currency. Right?

 

Inflation will level everything back to square one, correct?

 

I'm no economist, don't crucify me!!

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i wonder whether our coffee from foreign places is bought at a higher price out of charity or is it haggled down so low that the trickle down money doesnt get to the farmers. what about international trade?

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The dumping side is an interesting issue, but another important factor is the "help" that NGO's and the Peace Corps have given to famine ravaged countries. Oftentimes the help comes in the form of showing farmers how to grow wheat, which is completely unsuitable for dry environments that are hit by famine. These policies have disrupted food supplies permanently and increased dependence on the West for famine aid.

 

A better solution would be to encourage farmers to return to local crops such as sorghum. Sorghum has several advantages, the first being resistance to dry environments and flora and fauna of the area. Secondly, sorghum is a more complete protein than wheat or corn.

 

This is of course a variation of the "teach a man to fish" maxim, but in my non-expert opinion would help people take care of themselves more effectively.

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off international situations. farmers losin' land left & right here. bama man is tryin' to create more trade to s. america. by trade i mean, us takin' in their produce and shit that could be grown here and boost economy here and dishing out nothing to them. fuck international situations even though you feel bad for famined countries and shit. i dont know why people dont think local first. then when shits properous and no longer goin' downhill, worry about other peoples countries that dont give a fuck about us.

 

but then again, i admit im not as in depth as you guys in here. maybe im missing the picture as a whole.

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