Saturday, 30 March 2013

British Party: Britain and the Food Crisis

The steps Britain needs to take to overcome a food crisis before it's too late.

Part 3
Agricultural Assets
In time of economic downturn, a country must assure sufficient supplies of alimentary produce for all its citizens. It is unlikely the British Government has taken such steps, hence the need to require an urgent review of economic strategy and the introduction of tangible community assets guaranteeing sustenance and survival.

British Party proposes the introduction of community farm assets under the supervision of Local Government at district and county level. These farm estates would certainly not be competing with free enterprise farming, but would assure a reserve of agricultural produce, to be stored in safe places and used in time of need to prevent hunger and malnutrition should a food shortage become manifest in Britain.

People should be generally aware by now that paper assets, often considered volatile and founded upon the criteria of speculation, do not offer a guarantee for survival, but rather participate in the financial collapse of an economy, indeed of many economies worldwide.
What would the authorities offer us in time of hunger? Would it be worthless shares? Or Government bonds accounting for £1 trillion of Public Debt? 
Or perhaps hedge funds? How's about printed money? Or maybe a list of all private debts held – and owed – in Britain?
None of this would help anyone, not even if it were bundles of twenty pound notes, once the shelves were to become void of comestibles.

What we need is a reserve of agricultural land where crops are grown, fruit trees are planted and herds of cattle graze, to supplement the existing farms, and assure a sufficient food surplus in hard times. Indeed, anything less than this may be considered the height of insanity within the economy.

Administering Agricultural Assets
Each county in Britain should ensure a sufficient number of vacant plots of land is set aside for community farms where the produce is then processed and stored as an asset. Each of these farm estates would have either fruit orchards, cattle, or vegetable and grain crops. The produce would then be processed and preserved with specific expiry dates.

Preservation of agricultural produce can come about in various ways, often even without the addition of artificial preservatives. Food produce that has been adequately stored in a state of conservation may last months or years, depending on the product and the form of packaging, and on the methods used to conserve it, as well as on the chosen form of ideal storage.

Fresh food may also be grown continually, even in times of floods or drought, by using greenhouses or assuring a constant system of irrigation. Greenhouses can protect a crop from bad weather, including frost, hail and rain, and generally allow for intensive crop production in a relatively limited space. They need to be resistant structures capable of sustaining gale force wind.
Irrigation during dry weather demands a system of water pumps, pipes and sprinklers, and also a secure water source, including a sufficiently stocked reservoir.

So long as a farm estate has access to all the required facilities necessary in order to make it function even in adverse conditions, it will undoubtedly be a valid asset offering sustenance even during a drought, a flood or an economic crisis of other origin. This economic asset will also provide paid employment and experience to local people. Once the estate is up and running, a part of the produce could be used to substitute imports of food from other countries, or even exported, thereby reducing the trade deficit. However, some of it would need to be stored as a local and national reserve, to be made available in time of need.

Written by D. Alexander

Part 1: Emergency Response to Food Shortage, floods and drought

Part 2: Looming Food Shortage in Britain, financial crash

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