Capitalism and agriculture are two things that we often find on the same ground. If there is mention of one, the other will automatically come in between at one point or the other. Therefore, it has been a matter of debate for a very long time.
People around the world are living in extreme conditions, due to the COVID-19, the entire demand and supply ball-game of capitalism and agriculture has turned upside down, and even the most renowned economists are not able to predict the patterns that are to follow in the upcoming months.
What is Capitalism?
In general, capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include wealth concentration, competitive markets, a price system, private property, and the recognition of property rights, voluntary exchange, and wage labor. The problem with this during a crisis, like a pandemic, is that it enforces the goal to make a profit regardless of the nature of the crisis.
What is Agriculture?
Agriculture is a sector that has faced a significant decline in both demand and supply. Since people are living in quarantine, there has been a rise in unemployment and a reduction in the purchasing power of an average consumer. It has caused an inward shift in the overall demand for agricultural products.
The Current situation
There is supply of fruits and vegetables in the market. However, because of capitalism, farmers are more inclined towards destroying the yield, rather than distributing it for free. Hence, the majority of production is going to waste.
Throughout the world, there are a lot of people who are dying of hunger on a daily basis. Since the majority of the industries are shut, people are not able to find work and earn their daily wages to be able to feed themselves or their families.
If we compare the two situations, we understand that there is a lot of yields that can quickly satisfy the hunger of the poor. However, production is going to waste because of capitalism. Hence, neither the individuals are able to benefit nor the farmer.
We can find a similar situation in California, where there is access production, but almost all of the yield is going to waste. According to different reports, more than 80 thousand cartons of fruits and vegetables have gone to waste so far. The quantity was enough to feed a lot of people but was not a profitable trade for the farmer, so the farmer decided to destroy the entire yield.
Different agencies have taken notice of this situation and are trying to find a middle way to satisfy both the farmer and the poor.
Hunger is becoming a rising concern in these already difficult times. If the government does not intervene in time, it can become a significant factor in increasing the number of deaths in the country. Additionally, it can also increase the crime rate throughout the world as people will do anything to find ways to keep away from the virus, but they will not be able to defeat their hunger.
It is imperative that the government resonates with the federal response to this crisis and takes necessary action against the destruction of access yield and use it to fight hunger problems. This way, it will also be able to keep the farmers in business and satisfy the hunger of numerous people at the same time.
I know it sounds like wishful thinking but it is necessary. And the only way it will happen is if we, the people that elected them to work for us, make our demands. As corporate greeds continues to grow, only hearing talks from our elected officials is not sufficient. Making them accountable for their work and threaten them with our vote could be an option to finally obtain tangible results. In the meantime the farmers suffering continues. We can also do our part by showing empathy and help them in any way we can. Some farmers can still buy their produce, and even offer delivery. Whenever possible please support your local farmers.