A strong case can be made for the argument that it is trade, which has linked the disparate nation states of the world together. It was the desire by the ancients to buy and sell across oceans and seas, with other communities from different ethnic origins, which brought us together. Food crops, especially, link the world, as they are our essential requirements for survival. In the 21C, in places like Asia, development is, often, in conflict with more traditional subsistence economic activities like agriculture.
Development Conflicts in the Third World
Wealthy developers want to establish high grossing activities like mining on land, which has traditionally been employed for farming and growing food crops. The World Bank and IMF, organisations set up to bring the developing world greater prosperity, sometimes find themselves on the opposite side to the wants of the traditional holders of the land. Trickle down neoliberal economics upholds that wealth creation for the rich and overseas corporations will eventually benefit the local inhabitants, despite displacing them and taking away their livelihoods in the short to medium term. They promise things will get better after getting much worse first. Economic development must ride roughshod over traditional customs and culture before it delivers greater economic wealth for the populace.
Economic Development Must Recognise the Value of Traditional Lifestyles
Growing food for the culinary requirements of a community and a nation remain important aspects of statehood in both the developing and developed worlds. Cows and sheep are livestock herds which provide multiple benefits to local populations from both their hides and flesh. Economic development must recognise the value of traditional lifestyles centred around agrarian activities in these communities. It cannot dismantle these cultural building blocks indiscriminately and indifferently. Indigenous people have been farming and growing food crops in this manner for millennia.
We Risk Becoming Soulless Husks
Food crops link the world and they must be respected for this very reason. Technology in the west may be rapidly replacing much of what we built our customs upon in the past, but we risk becoming soulless husks if we lose our talismans. The developing world has much to teach us about the essential nature of humanity. Food brings people together to share and to break bread, wherever you are on the planet. Food farming is an integral industry and we risk much if we lose sight of this as a society.