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A Vision for Agriculture in Britain Under capitalism profit is the goal so it is fundamentally not interested in feeding the people. At present Britain, like most other countries, is at the mercy of speculators who bet on the future prices of harvests on the world financial markets. Britain is a country where farming takes place in relatively large, efficient units. We could be self-sufficient in food production, but the EU and World Trade Organisation forbid this. As with industrial manufacture, agricultural production is to be regionalised in Europe and farmers are being paid not to produce food. In a workers' Britain we can aim at being self sufficient in cereal, horticulture, orchards, livestock, fisheries and fish farming and forestry. Our land use, water management, and transportation policies will aim to produce food efficiently and distribute it as locally as possible for sale or further processing in the food industry. A system of price regulation and planning for affordability will be introduced. Prices will generally reflect the cost of production, but subsidies will be made for essential foods. Around 150,000 work in agriculture, horticulture and forestry. These workers should receive decent wages, and work in good conditions and safe workplaces. A socialist Britain would not depend on cheap labour from abroad. Demand for skilled and unskilled labour would be met according to nationally and locally determined plans. Agricultural colleges will provide properly trained workers through apprenticeships or full-time courses.
In a socialist Britain properly qualified scientists and engineers working for the government will be crucial to delivering the nation’s food. A scientific agriculture, set to meet the needs of the people, should also take the safety of workers and their families into account and control or eliminate pollution. A sovereign Britain will control its territorial waters. We will take back our fisheries from the EU 'fishing pool'. Our fishing industry will work to conservation policies that allow fish stocks to increase and then maintain sustainable catches. Download the full article