Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

To make farming attractive again

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Ezra Klein has a very interesting post. Read the whole thing, but here’s the bit that caught my eye:

I’ve not gotten around to reading Paul Roberts new book The End of Food, but it’s on my list. After reading this interview with Roberts, though, it might have to jump the queue.

… He also warms my heart by arguing that a big part of the problem is that the occupational attraction of farming has deteriorated, and the fix to that isn’t genetically-modified crops, but health care. “Farmers are leaving the farm, not because they hate farming, but [because] it’s just too hard [to make a living]. … In many cases, they can’t afford health care, so they need to have an off-farm job. So if you’re looking for these weak links, and you’re looking for ways to strengthen these links, then maybe finding a way to offer affordable health care to farmers would be one of those tipping points. But it’s not romantic; it’s not dramatic like some breakthrough seed.” I’m not sure if that’s correct, but it certainly plays well to my biases.

It makes sense: farming is one of the most hazardous occuptions, including long-term hazards associated with exposure to chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, and the like), along with many physical dangers in working, often alone, around dangerous equipment and in hazardous conditions.

Written by Leisureguy

15 September 2008 at 10:01 am

Posted in Daily life

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