Australian Left Review

Authors

Geoff Lawrence

Abstract

Foi those who believe in the beneficial nature of the capitalist system of production and distribution "crisis" is a scare-word which, if used at all, is applied in a cautious and considered manner. Yet in regard to Australian agriculture most industry commentators apply it frequently and with little hesitation. We hear of the "beef crisis", the"wool crisis", the "environmental crisis", or more generally, "the crisis on the land". Farmers suffer when prices for agricultural commodities fall on international markets and when domestic policy decisions favour the interests of mining and manufacturing corporations over those of the rural industry. They suffer when agribusiness firms manipulate the prices of farm inputs; when speculative capital inflow allows land values to inflate beyond their production abilities; and when revaluation of the dollar reduces the export potential of rural products.

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