Farmers are resilient entrepreneurs and have been Cargill partners for more than 150 years. In a world whose population is growing and natural resources are finite, it is important that we devise agricultural and farm policies that advance sustainability and food security while protecting farmers’ livelihoods. These goals are best served when policy is market-oriented, farmers are free to make decisions based on supply and demand, and food can be traded without unnecessary restrictions.
- The overriding aim of any farm policy should be to help address the world’s long-term food needs. Farm policy should help farmers grow the crops they grow best, so that food can be provided to those who need it in the most efficient manner.
- Agricultural policies must allow the flow of food across borders. As the world’s population grows to at least 9 billion by 2050, global demand for food may double, according to United Nations estimates. To nourish the world sustainably, food should be grown where it can be produced most efficiently, and move freely from places of surplus to places of deficit.
- Farm policies should provide a safety net for farmers that does not distort markets or planting decisions. Manipulating farm policies to increase or reduce production for short-term gains has a history of disrupting markets, and mostly results in too little or too much production to meet consumer needs. Ultimately, such policies are counterproductive.
- Policies that distort trade and production, such as price floors and ceilings, quotas, subsidies and mandates, should be avoided. Where market support is provided, it should not be crop-specific. Even with government support, farmers should be able to make planting decisions based on pricing signals.
- Crop insurance has become a critical risk management tool for farmers. Cargill supports the delivery of crop insurance through public policy measures.
- Responsible use of biotechnology and sustainable development practices will help make the most out of the world’s limited resources and ensure food security over the long term.
• Hunger Game - Lessons for Feeding 9 Billion people (Speech by Cargill President and CEO David MacLennan)