Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Vatican Encourages Support for Family Farms

Vatican Encourages International Support for Small Family Farms

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the international community to support small family farms and make sure they have access to the increasingly globalized market, according to a report by John Tavis with the Catholic News Service.

The pope was speaking to representatives of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, based in Rome. He praised that organization for its efforts to fight hunger and fairly distribute development assistance to poorer countries.

“Humanity is presently experiencing a worrisome paradox – side by side with ever new and positive advances in the areas of the economy, science, and technology, we are witnessing a continuing increase of poverty,” the pope said.

Among those most vulnerable to economic changes today are family farmers, he said. Referencing a WTO conference on commerce and farm products which was held in Hong Kong in December, the Pope said:

“The Holy See is confident that a sense of responsibility and solidarity with the most disadvantaged will prevail, so that narrow interests and the logic of power will be set aside. It must not be forgotten that the vulnerability of rural areas has significant repercussions on the subsistence of small farmers and their families if they are denied access to the market.”

The pope told the experts that in devising solutions to world hunger, they need to remember that technical progress, although necessary, is not everything. True progress also protects the dignity of human beings and enables people to share their material and spiritual resources for the benefit of all, he said. Source: The Catholic News Service, Vatican City.

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