Why do we have agriculture? When addressing audiences of agricultural policy-makers, I sometimes begin by asking the group to raise their hands and vote for what is more important to them personally: their health or their income? Ninety-nine percent, of course, quickly indicate that their health is more important to them than their income. Then I ask them: In your profession, if you were Minister (even Dictator) of Agriculture, what would drive your decisions – the role of agriculture to provide incomes and jobs, or the role of agriculture to provide food to eat, and so adequate nutrition, and so a healthy nation? There is some hesitation (I presume due to their answer to the first question),but 80 percent vote for incomes and jobs, and the remaining 20 percent appear confused; many do not vote at all.
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