Farm Subsidies

Do Western farmers still need government support?

  • By:Reed Karaim
  • Content Type: Report
  • Publisher: CQ Press
    • Publication year: 2012
    • Online pub date:
  • DOI:


Agriculture has been one of the most heavily protected and subsidized economic sectors in developed countries for more than 80 years. Modern farm programs, arising out of the despair of the Great Depression and the devastation of World War II, have poured billions of dollars into farming in order to maintain commodity prices, stabilize markets, reduce surpluses and encourage conservation. Nevertheless, overall government support for farmers in developed nations fell to historic lows in 2010, as high commodity prices helped make agriculture one of the few economic sectors that is prospering. But as the European Union and the United States begin revising their agricultural programs this year, many analysts question whether farm supports still make sense. Western farm subsidies and policies have hurt developing-world farmers ...

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