This [unedited] guest post is by a student in my EEP100 class (background post).
Please praise/critique/comment on its economic quality and importance to you.
Christian Cox says:
Among the many aspects of food security, the stability of food supplies is one of the most crucial. It is important to food insecure countries because in the event of reduced supplies or drastic global market changes, imports could be severely reduced. We can identify this issue with the international agribusinesses. By reducing the amount of producers and increasing the output of each firm, the elasticity of supply in the market would decrease. Thus in an event of a market shock, in this case a supply decrease, the industry would respond poorly and not be able to compensate fast enough to meet the demand. Thus countries that are heavily import-dependent on food are vulnerable in markets like corn, which are dominated by agricultural corporations. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that farmers in these poor countries are displaced or bought out by the larger mono-culture plantation companies, and then become "farm laborers" working for wages and not controlling their crop.
Bottom Line: International agribusinesses are bad for rural areas in countries with food insecurity because the undermining of local farmers increases dependence on the few firms, which could lead to shortages.