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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Sowing dollars, reaping hardship

Farm subsidies actually do not benefit farmers — at least not most small farmers in the United States or those in developing countries. Bread for the World, a Christian anti-hunger group, made that claim in its recently released report on world hunger, in which it also said the $310 billion spent by all developed nations on agricultural subsidies would be better directed to economic development, job training and direct assistance to the poor worldwide.

Subsidies artificially inflate prices of U.S. goods and flood the world market with excess products, the report said, while at the same time depriving poor farmers in other countries from those sources for sales.

"This is an irrational structure in the world," said David Beckmann, an ELCA pastor and president of Bread for the World.


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