The emerging markets of Brazil, Russia , India and China ( BRIC) are important elements in the world economy especially agriculture.
Their economies are discussed in an article in the Times by Carl Mortished ( Times Wed July 30th 2008 p 43 ) in the current climate of inflation, slackening growth and the flight of hot money .
There is a world wide struggle for a global trade agreement that would open borders and reduce farming subsidies.
The needs of peasant farmers in these BRIC countries is seen to be a major factor in preventing this economic and global aspirations. These poverty stricken farmers live in communities close to starvation, relying on poor equipment, living on poor land , dogged by ill health and nutrition and need subsidies and high tariffs to keep out imported cheap food .India’s rural; population is 600 million.
Many developing countries would like to export to India and China but politically this is a none starter .
We do not live in a world divided into North and South or rich and poor but in a world of powerful and conflicting interest groups.
As our world economy enters a period of decline protectionism is in the air
The lot of the peasant farmer must be protected.
The cost of food in China absorbs more than a third of income.
All of this will have profound consequences for many poverty stricken families in these countries.
- Martin Eastwood