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European-style farmer protests strike a chord

When calamity arises somewhere in the world, it’s natural to wonder if the same thing could happen here…and if it did, what would we do?

Take farmer protests, for example. Since the early 2020s, citizens in India and more lately, Europe, have gasped at farmers’ growing vitriol over their status quo. They’ve watched frustrated food producers take to civil disobedience, march on their legislatures, clog highways and streets with convoys of slow-moving machinery and garbage -- and in some cases, dump what appears to be perfectly good food to underline their anger.

In India, farmers want guaranteed minimum prices. In Europe, price increases for inputs such as fuel and fertilizer have not been matched by additional payments through the Common Agricultural Policy. EU bureaucrats signed lopsided, politically motivated trade deals that producers say gave away market access to Africa, South America, China and even Russia, but failed to open doors in exchange.

Farmers say the likes of low commodity prices and wavering farm income, high input prices, irrational regulatory policies, stiffening environmental measures, consumer confusion over food prices and government hysteria over climate change is bad enough

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