Beautiful Virgin Islands

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Agriculture, fisheries & inflation

Agriculture, fisheries & inflation

Food-sufficient countries frequently possess a vibrant internal market culture. This is a way of life driven by farming and associated commercial activity. Food and drink are critical for human existence and form a major part of household budgets, for the mass of the population. Then rising food prices are a major contributor to inflationary pressures. People cannot choose not to eat.
At a time of rising prices that diminish the standard of living, food-sufficient countries are better able to control inflationary pressures. This is because inputs into what their food markets produce derive from within the country’s borders. These primary resources are easier to manage as they derive from home soil and local labor. When inputs are imported, aliens decide local prices.

Then, countries that can feed themselves from their own resources possess good employment numbers owing to the fact that a significant percentage of the population is engaged in farming, the sale of farm produce, and related economies. The preceding is a secure, predictable, and steady source of national income.

Now, economics is about human and social behavior. What the majority of the population perceives to be real becomes reality. Economics is a self-fulfilling prophecy: what I believe will happen, will happen.

In an inflationary environment, consumer demand frequently outpaces supply, and hence shortages exist. That supply shortage is also public perception. Perception drives economics. Presently, pundits believe the present inflation is demand-driven, in spite of the clear supply shocks from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Supply shortfall corrects by increasing the price of supplies in the dance between demand and supply. This price correction reduces consumer demand all other things being equal.

That is the theory. Although there are Keynesian Believers, who assert that inflation is a supply-side phenomenon created by powerful producers to maintain and even increase profit margins. The preceding are core explanations for inflation.

OK. The unthinkable has become possible; the Tyrant in the Kremlin has threatened nuclear war against the west. Although this possibility remains, remote- Russia ceases to exist in such an event that may well end humanity.

Wise leaders in peacetime prepare their countries for the worst, as part of good governance culture.

The Tyrant’s actions have caused supply shocks to energy and food. Moreover, net importing countries such as the BVI, fare worse than countries that are able to satisfy their consumer needs from their own internal resources, when there is a regional or world crisis: external geopolitical shock.

In times of crisis, it is better to be a net exporter than a net importer, especially of food, energy, and essentials. Hurricanes Irma and Maria exposed the vulnerability of import-oriented economies when disaster strikes. The BVI had to depend on external agencies to rescue the country from destruction and disaster after IRMA and MARIA.

Resource-sufficient countries that produce much of what they consume from within their borders fare better- when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
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