Farm bill debate goes global
How policies can help U.S. farmers as well as farmers in Africa is increasingly part of the discussion.
BY ALAN BJERGA
The Wichita Eagle
Reno County rancher Jim French thinks Kansans should care more about Africa, even if it means changing farm subsidies that have brought $8 billion to the state in the past decade.
Cheap, government-subsidized American food makes it tough for African farmers to develop their own agriculture, he said. That’s not fair, and it’s not good for America or Africa in the long run, he added.
“We need to change programs in a way that allows African farmers to sell to the world,” said French, one of six farmers who visited west Africa last month with Oxfam America, the U.S. wing of an organization devoted to fighting world poverty.
Steve Baccus, an Ottawa County wheat grower and Kansas Farm Bureau president, said he has nothing against Africa — he’s been there, too.