No vast areas of tillable land in world
To the editor:
The subsidies received by American farmers have declined for many years and are among the lowest in the modern world. The farm program has provided Americans with the best food at the lowest prices in history.
To contend that raising food prices is somehow going to solve food problems in the rest of the world is faulty thinking. The problem is not a shortage of food, but a lack of money to buy the food. Raising prices will make the problem worse, not better.
There are no vast areas of tillable land around the world, waiting to be farmed. Some land, such as the Amazon rain forest, can be converted to farmland, but at a severe cost to the environment, with limited success and high development and operating costs.
I have been to Africa, a land with supposedly huge areas of unused tillable land. Africa is mostly brush-covered desert, similar to our Southwest. If land is capable of being farmed, chances are it is being farmed.
Cutting down jungles is much more harmful to the environment than farming Minnesota’s fertile fields with modern technology. A big threat is America losing about 2 million acres of farmland to nonfarm uses each year.
It would seem to be anti-American to be advocating harming the farming industry that provides such a great trade surplus to our nation. How would we pay for all of our imports without sending something back overseas? Modern technology and support for agriculture are the answer to the food problem, not destroying jungles and plowing up deserts.