Black Farmers Suffer At The Hands Of Monsanto

drboydAn interesting take on the disastrous effects on agriculture resulting from Monsanto’s control of seeds, by Dr. John Boyd of, at Roland Martin Reports:

Black farmers in the United States are disappearing. Their numbers shrank from approximately 900,000 in the 1920s down to about 43,000 in the last U.S. Census — down to less than 1 percent of America’s farmers.

But the staggering 98 percent decline in Black farm ownership does not tell the whole story. With each farm closure, those farmers, their families and their employees all lost a way of life that had existed for generations. Despite the horror stories behind Black Americans’ link to the land throughout our national history, these losses represent an erosion of cultural, geographic and heritage bonds far greater larger than the Black farmers’ small presence in American agriculture…

For most of the NBFA’s history, racial discrimination was the biggest threat to Black farm ownership. More recently, however, anti-competitive conduct by monopolists and reduced competition for the biotechnology that we need has emerged as a major obstacle. Our strenuous efforts to sound the alarm on this very important issue continue to fall on deaf ears. I recently read an article on how Monsanto has used the image of Black farmers on billboards to promote its products. Ironically the image was spotted in Iowa, a state where I know firsthand that Black farmers barely number above the single digits.

Seed production is one crucial area of biotechnology that we have identified as desperately needing more competition because it currently is controlled by one company: Monsanto. Monsanto is the Microsoft of agriculture — the dominant company that controls the key biotechnology that all farmers need.

A seed is as old and ubiquitous as the Bible itself and absolutely essential to farming. How can one company control the world’s seed supply? When one gigantic corporate entity is allowed to block farmers from planting a seed without compensating that monopoly, the farmers are held in bondage to uncontrolled price increases. A decade ago I could purchase a 50-pound bag of soybean seeds for $11.00. That same fifty pounds of seed has risen to $56.00 dollars because there is no choice or competition in the market. I see no end in sight for higher costs which in the long run will pass on to the consumer…

[continues at Roland Martin Reports]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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5 Comments on "Black Farmers Suffer At The Hands Of Monsanto"

  1. How about: “All Farmers Suffer at the Hands of Monsanto”! Black or white, North American or South American, Indian or otherwise, Mon-Satan-o is squeezing life out of the planets farmers!  Except the smart European ones. Never mind the health effects of ingesting food that has been soaked in Glyphosate! Monoculture has been proven catastrophic as well!

    • gwen jackson | Feb 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

       lol, thank you, i was just about to say that. Didn’t something like 200,000 farmers in India also commit suicide?

  2.  I agree with you there. Isn’t it interesting, that Monsanto has Aluminum resilient  seeds? then in the last 20 years there has been a spike in Aluminum occurring in the ground totally devastating the PH levels. There was a proposal for stratospheric geo-engineering to combat “global warming” by spraying aluminum in the air to block out harmful sunrays. It really sounds more like a way to stop anyone from growing their own food so we’d HAVE to rely on crappy corporations like Monsanto for pesticide filled food. The bugs won’t eat it. Why should WE??

  3. Also, with people being attacked from all ends we can’t afford to look at things like race. We’ve all got to eat. Systemically, yes, black farmers are almost non- existent. If you think back,  while some people owned property , blacks weren’t allowed to own their names. Generations of equity passed on to family and land and titles being kept in families, or used as equity for college loans er so on gives some folks a leg up. While others were struggling to survive years of social and economic repression. Those things still exist but its more of a class thing now. So black, white, ,brown, pink, yellow, the only thing that matters to corporations like Monsanto is GREEN. 

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