April 12, 2008 - News

Farmers facing many challenges
Thirty-two years ago, Chittagong University economics professor, Mohammed Yunus asked Sufiya Khatun why she could not make a living constructing and selling her bamboo stools, which he saw were excellent. She replied that she must borrow for the cost of materials from the person who bought the finished stools, with the end result that she earned two cents a day. Yunus and his students found 42 people who only needed a total of $26 to get free of their retailers and 30 years later, he won the Nobel Peace prize for the micro-enterpise work of his Grameen Bank. It seems to me that Vancouver Island farmers are in the same boat as Sufiya Khatun. We expect them to compete with “the cheapest in the world plus freight” policies of our food retailers. We want farmers markets but even those of us who could well afford the wholesome food our farmers grow only buy a fraction of the food we eat from them.