The world doesn’t adapt to us and when people are free to buy what they please, you have to give them what they want.

In this Commentary, AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley uses the example of two countries Tanzania and El Salvadore. Both faced great adversity, but it was the willingness of El Salvadore to stop blaming others, to take control and to adapt with the times that changed its fortunes. 

Crowley says changing with the times is of particular importance to the agriculture industry, many parts of which are still mired in a bygone era of marketing boards, export subsidies and other policies designed to shield farmers from pressure to produce what consumers actually want.

“No one knows if it will take 10 or 15 or 20 years of further international trade negotiations to get rid of agricultural tariffs, compulsory marketing boards with price setting powers, export subsidies and all the rest. They will go, however. The benefits in terms of cheaper and more plentiful food and more economic activity are simply too great for it to be otherwise.

“We need to wrestle with uncompetitive regulatory and tax climates, we need to bring up to standard the managerial and marketing capabilities of our farmers and allied businesses. And we need to struggle to keep the border with the US as open as possible.The US has become a huge market for our high value-added products, and we cannot afford to see that access compromised. In 1989, we exported less than $4-billion in food products to the US, and had a trade deficit in those products with them. Today, we export over $16-billion in food products to them (the vast bulk of it in value added products) and have a trade surplus with them of nearly $2-billion.”

To read the compete Commentary, click here.