All better without subsidies

A visiting dairy farmer from the United States said they have very few subsidies now and that’s the way most farmers there like it.

The prefer to prosper, or not, through their own efforts rather than at the whim of the government.

That sentiment is shared by farmers here and the OECD:

Countries should focus on improving farm productivity, sustainability and long-term competitiveness, rather than policies that distort markets.

NZ has the lowest agricultural  subsidies in the OECD:

New Zealand has the lowest level of government support to agriculture in the OECD, at just 1% of farm income. Australia (3%), Chile (4%) and the United States (9%) are also well below the OECD average.
  • The European Union has reduced its level of support to 22% of farm income, but remains above the OECD average.
  • Support to farmers remains relatively high in Korea (47%), Iceland (48%), Japan (49%), Switzerland (56%) and Norway (60%).
  • Brazil, South Africa and Ukraine generally support agriculture at levels well below the OECD average, while support in China is approaching the OECD average. In Russia, farm support now exceeds the OECD average.

I didn’t think we had any support at all. If I’m reading the report correctly that 1% is sector-wide policy measures  representing general services to agriculture.

New Zealand farmer were dragged unwillingly into the real world in the 1980s but I haven’t met a single farmer in the last 20 years that would want to go back.

Farmers and the country are better off without subsidies.

3 Responses to All better without subsidies

  1. Captain Fantastic says:

    NZ farmers would still prefer to be left alone. I mean property rights are under continual assault here in NZ.. Low or no subsidies are a nice way of saying that govt largely doesn’t give a stuff about the primary sector. The much touted subsidies of the past were in reality subsidies for a heavily inefficient meat industry and internal economy that was completely out of touch with the real world. Once again farmers paid the price and were the butt of urban comment and distain. Back to my original point, seek the opinion of farmers, the grass roots about what they think of bullying Regional councils, all empowered by the socialist National Party RMA. Furthermore the failure to downsize the State still imposes heavy cost on NZ enterprise and reduces enterprise and innovation. Political interferrance harms all New Zealanders.

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  2. Coulda fooled me. Dairy subsidies still look big here:
    http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=00000&progcode=dairy

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  3. homepaddock says:

    Gonzo – while the farmer I was talking to didn’t like subsidies and maybe others he knows, but he obviously wasn’t speaking for everyone in the industry.

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