Jacques Fortin says his message is on behalf of all farmers
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A farmer in France turned his wheat field into a giant plea for help.
If politicians across the country won’t hear farmers’ concerns, they’ll see it, says Jacques Fortin, a grain producer near Tours, about two and a half hours from Paris.
Fortin carved ‘HELP’ into his 12-acre wheat field to let politicians know farmers across the country aren’t making ends meet.
Each letter is about 328 feet long and 157 feet wide.
“Political leaders do not listen to us,” the 63-year old told AFP. “They’re deaf to our anger. I hope they’re not blind and will read this message of despair.”
“I live in a world where I have the responsibilities of a chief executive and I live below the poverty threshold,” Fortin told AFP. “It is not normal to live with 350 Euros a month (US$372) when you work every day.”
The French poverty line was set at €1,008 (US$1,072) per month in September 2016, according to figures reported by The Local.
And the average income of French farms was estimated to fall by 26 per cent in 2016. Dairy farmers suffering the most after European milk quotas were removed in April 2015, according to the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies.
Fortin only makes enough money to eat. He fears there won’t be a future for his son in agriculture, he told RT.
“Most farmers live (in) the same situations,” he told RT.