I went to work this morning and wasn’t afraid of being harassed. I arrived at the office, I wasn’t worried for getting bullied by anybody. The thought of not being paid a fair wage didn’t even cross my mind. It’s only one Google search away to learn and improve my skills. I can basically go, do, learn and become whatever I want. This seems so normal to me. I have to take an effort, to remind me, it is not. Especially not for 500 million farmers that produce 80% of our food, and their households, more than 2 billion people.
Many romanticise farming: living in the countryside, connected with nature… The sad reality however is that most farmers don’t earn enough to enjoy a proper meal.
A lot of this has to do with their remoteness, and a poor political and financial structure in their country. This results in financial exclusion from the global economy. Most of these farmers live in rural areas and belong to a demographic that is the least likely to have access to an official proof of identity. Without official records, it is very difficult for them to proof their ownership or to build up a financial track record. This, in turn, makes it difficult for them to get access to loans or insurances, which makes them the most vulnerable when socio-economic or environmental disasters occur. Their remoteness and lack of official documents puts them in a weak negotiation position, leaving room for structural underpayment and bad working conditions. It allows for human rights violations like child labour to persevere even in today’s world.