demi wrote: getreal wrote:
Why do you think governments give subsidies to small scale farmers and not to large scale industrial farmers that produce mono-cultures?
I don't think this is correct. The single farm subsidy is based on the size of the farm-the more hectares, the more subsidy.
I'm not aware of any subsidies to organic or small producers (unless in the case of crofting, but that is entierly different and the reasons behind the support given to crofters is unique. I'm not sure they recieve actual monetary subsidies, though, but they do get a lot of "soft" support)
This is what Jane's told me. They give subsidies in the form of organic pesticides to small scale farmers and give them a timetable and tell them to spray then, then, and then. Inspectors then come to check the organic methods are being followed by looking at the farm and taking samples from the soil. Everything being well they get the organic certificate and are able to sell their food as organic. The governments are trying to encourage organic and sustainable agriculture and support small scale farming. I don't know specifically about the government in the UK, but this is what's being done in Europe.
Most people have some space in their garden which they would be able to turn into a vegetable plot. Allotments and communal growing areas are also provided by local authorities for people without a garden, although there is usually a long waiting list.
There is also GMO, genetically engineered crops made resistant to pests and fungi eliminating the need for pesticides and fungicides and creating 'super crops' able to withstand droughts and floods with the potential to feed the entire world. But there is a whole other ethical debate that goes along with that. What would happen if these genetically engineered crops got released into the local environment, and what effect would they have on the eco systems? That is a huge ethical debate.
There are large scale organic farms in places like Australia where they have good growing conditions and funds available to invest. The governments give subsidies to these large scale farmers. They have bio domes where they are able to control the environment and release predictor insects like spiders and ladybugs to eat the pests. They have pheromone traps which attract certain insect pests which then get stuck to sticky tape. They also selectively breed only the healthy plants to create more disease resistant crops. They have greenhouses next to power stations which take the waste C02, which would normally get released into the atmosphere, and pump it through pipes into the greenhouses where the plants covert it to oxygen ( how clever is that! ). And the greenhouses are becoming more sealed like bio domes restricting insects from coming in or out vents and heating controlling the temperatures and the air. Greenhouses can be much bigger than biodomes which are expensive. They have many ways to do things organically on larger scale.
Here is some info 'can organic farming feed the world?' : http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4060
Carbon Dioxide in greenhouses: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cro ... 00-077.htm