Food Resources Management Policies in North America During WWII

  February 11, 2021   News ID 1899
Food Resources Management Policies in North America During WWII
In war situation, the normal policies do not work and there is an urgent need for revision of the existing policies. This was also the case with North American authorities in dealing with the food supplies in order to guarantee the foods security. Possible famine could worsen the situation.
During the Second World War, government attempts to control farm output were reversed, especially in North America, and every effort was made to increase food production. In the United States, price support was increased on basic food crops and introduced, for the first time, on animal products. The continuation of incentives in the United States after the war, and of price support in Canada, together with advancing technology, led to the accumulation of large surpluses, especially of wheat and dairy products, during the 1950s. Price support was introduced and maintained to ensure a reasonable income for farming communities not to increase production, although this was its effect. After the Second World War, the United States continued essentially the same price support policies that had been developed during the war. From time to time, the support levels were lowered and area planting restrictions reintroduced for the principal crops but production continued to increase. The concept of supply management was introduced to adjust supply to domestic and foreign needs for some major food crops and food grains with some effect, but not for dairy products, leading to serious surplus problems. Following President Hoover’s example after the First World War, a European Recovery Programme, more popularly known as the Marshall Plan (named after its originator, George Marshall, Secretary of State in President Truman’s administration) resulted in the largest transfer of bilateral aid in history. Of the total aid package of $13.5 billion supplied between 1948 and 1953, about a quarter was committed in food, feed and fertilizer. In Canada, agricultural price support legislation was introduced in 1944 for the protection of farmers against a post-war price decline, such as occurred after the First World War. In 1959, the Canadian Government found that support for certain lines of production contributed to increased production and new programmes were introduced involving deficiency payments to farmers. Since wheat produced in the main producing area was marketed through a government agency, the Canadian Wheat Board, it did not qualify for support. For dairy products, there was no limitation on production in the price support programme.

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