Also in France farmers protests Nov 27, 2019 7:29:57 GMT -7
Post by pieter on Nov 27, 2019 7:29:57 GMT -7
Similar things happened in the Netherlands. Farmers living in silent poverty, working 16 hours a day and committing suicide. Farmers are proud entrepreneurs who are dedicated to their farms, their live stock and their communities. These farms often are hundreds of years old and many generations worked on them. From Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great grandfathers centuries ago to the farmer today, his son and grandson. When they go into dept, struggle to survive a great shame comes over them, because their ancestors were proud farmers. They struggle to admid that they are in problems. That they work hard and live in abject poverty, can't provide an income for their family anymore. They are ashamed that they can't make the farm work. They are insecure financially. They were taught to be discrete, not to talk about problems. But they are in deep problems today. They are in a pressure cooker. In time that pressure explodes and they commit suicide. How is the situation in Poland Jaga?
I do believe that farmers deserve more respect from city people. I was raised with respect for the Zeeland farmers at the Walcheren Peninsula by my dad and also saw the Walloon mountain farmers with their small farms, cows and chickens and pigs, and crops in the Ardennes mountains. As a child I played and 'worked' with both Dutch speaking Zeeland farm kids and the French speaking farm kids and their parents in the Netherlands and Belgium. I was of course joyful, playful work in the summer vacations, helping with collecting hay or milking cows or escorting cows to the fields or back to the stable at the farm. It is sad to see the farmers that doesn't make it due to European, national and provincial legislations, quota and the power of large food processing multi-nationals who pay to little for the products of the farmers. Consumers aren't aware of that and that is sad. But in the same time I am critical towards Dutch farm organisations like Agroactie (Agrarian Action), The Farmers Defence Leage and LTO (Farmers Union). They have little self criticism and don't do enough to limit the carbon monoxide emission the agricultural sector causes.
The Farmers Defence Leage could become an European organisation when Dutch, German, Belgian and French farmers unite in one United Front. One of these day I expect European farmers to march to Brussels with their tractors.
Probably Dutch farmers commit suicide relatively often. ‘Probably’, because farmers are no separate category in Dutch suicide-statistics. Cultural anthropologist and writer Lizzy van Leeuwen recently published a study on ‘suicide in the countryside’, called ‘De hanenbalken’ (‘The Collar Beams’). In this lecture she builds the case that Dutch farmers commit suicide more often than other Dutch citizens. She gives possible explanations of this phenomenon, and of the reasons why it is not systematically studied.
The Dutch farmers are in a difficult position. Although their land and house might be worth a lot of money, they have to work many hours to make an often low income. An income which varies substantially from year to year, due to external circumstances. Not the least of these circumstances are the changing rules they are submitted to, despite being ‘free entrepreneurs’. So nowadays many Dutch farmers depend on the income of their spouse to make ends meets. A special problem is the succession, as agriculture steadily becomes less attractive for younger generations.
Farmers in general have to deal with many changes upon which traditional behaviour or knowledge has no answer. One of these is the European policy to combat epidemic livestock diseases as happened in the Netherlands in 1998 with Swine Fever and in 2001 with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). The psychological impact of the FMD-policy has hardly been investigated. In this study this impact was studied among dairy farmers by comparing areas with different severity of the crisis. Subjects came from one cultural group: Dutch dairy farmers (n = 661). Questionnaires about stress, psychological marginal-ization and depression were administered in three different areas: the 'culled' area, the ‘buffer’ area and the FMD-‘free’ area. The psychological impact of the FMD-crisis was associated with differences in levels of stress, marginalization and depression. It was concluded that the impact of the FMD-crisis was considerable, especially for farmers in the ‘culled’ area.