ds. The unsuccessful EU agricultural policy, the promotion of large-scale enterprises, increasing growth, massstalls, production for export have led to an increasing number of farmers closing down farms across Europe. Even large farms have difficulties to survive. They won`t be able any longer to withstand the price pressure, a result of overproduction.
High-performance cows have been bred, which are to deliver more and more milk in fully automatic milking systems. Without any regard for the welfare of the animals. And in the fields an overdose of chemistry is being used - without any regard to nature. The consequences are also felt by the consumers: manure, exhaust gases and antibiotics harm human beings and the environment.
With the disappearance of peasants’ agriculture many villages are deserted, they are threatened in their existence. Houses are empty, shops, schools and doctors’ offices are closing. Whole parts of the countryside is depopulated. At the same time the big cities cannot accommodate the lots of newcomers. Housing shortages and overpriced rents are awaiting those who move into the cities. Many villages are already deserted.
Yet for a long time arable land hasn`t belonged exclusively to the peasants. These areas are owned by financial investors, and they hardly have a relationship to agriculture. Particularly in the east of Germany, speculators and corporations have recognised vast areas of arable land as safe investment and speculative property. Almost a third of the fields are in investors’ hands.The owners cultivate single crops on the large fields, so-called mono-cultures for export or for biogas plants, crops not for nutritional use, but as energy supply for cars or power stations. Even Chinese investors have already bought into Germany.
Structures develop where people in a village often don`t know at all who is farming the land. Two or three times a year there is a person who brings the machines by low loaders, does the work and drives away again. And all the cultural contribution and diversity that the peasants’ countryside has to offer will be lost”
(From the film: Bis zur letzten Kuh. Warum viele Bauern aufgeben müssen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Mf8xy9hYM) •
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