There are more than six billion people in the world, about one billion of whom have a good to reasonable standard of living, materially speaking. These are the people who live in the prosperous regions on the northern part of the globe: the United States and Europe. The majority of people in these regions are lucky enough to be able to work for a living. Of the other five billion people, about four billion are able to make out a living somehow. They live to work, if do not do that, they have no life at all.
According to the World Food Organisation of The United Nations, there are a further eight hundred million people who are unable to work and can therefore barely survive. They sit and wait until food comes. They live in regions where the local authorities, often supported by western governments, fight their domestic wars across the backs of their people. The people there die of starvation: in their thousands one year, in their hundreds of thousands another year. Then to think that, at the same time, at the end of the last century, so much food was produced in Europe that farmers had to be paid to produce less. It varies somewhat from year to year, but an average of between 10% and 15% of European agricultural space is taken out of production. This practice of laying land barren serves just one purpose: keeping the price of crops up.
In the Eighties, during a World Food Top conference, the prosperous countries agreed that the scandal of world hunger and poverty should be halved between 1990 and 2015. There are five years to go until 2015, but recent figures published by the World Food Organisation show that hunger and poverty have increased rather than decreased.  
It even looks like hunger will only continue to increase: the prices of crops have been rising considerably since 2006. This is mainly due to the fact that basic products such as maize, wheat and soya are used for production of bio-diesel: a product, which, by the way, is heavily subsidised and is not at all as "green” as we are led to believe. The maize, wheat and soya that are used, are full of refuse-derived energy. Lobbyists in the agricultural sector have been trying for decades to find a second outlet via "agrification” (use of agricultural products as raw material instead of oil) and have obviously been successful in their efforts, thanks to the focus on the greenhouse effect.

The high costs of raw materials afford Europeans and Americans record profits whilst, at the same time, food in developing countries threatens to become unaffordable. A price increase of 10 Eurocents for a loaf of bread in areas where families are forced to survive on 1 Euro a day has a totally different impact than in a country in prosperous Europe.
Furthermore, the high prices of these raw materials form no reason for the lobbyists to bid farewell to subsidies: they consider subsidies to be "accumulated rights” which may not be interfered with. It is also uncertain whether the current high price of food will remain so high, which is why, according to the lobbyists it is not a good idea to abolish subsidies at this point in time. And therefore, farmers may exploit all their land as from 2008, whilst the subsidy for laying it barren continues to be paid.
Amazing? Farmers find this completely normal!

Moreover, the same farmers are also responsible for hunger in the world and for allowing that problem to continue, even if they do see this somewhat differently themselves. European farmers are good to their poorer fellow men and where necessary, they contribute generously to food aid. Certainly, that happens sometimes, but food aid arises from surpluses in the market, produced by the farmer. The farmer is paid for these surpluses in the form of compensation from Brussels, so it is actually the European citizen who provides food aid in the end. And it is certainly not generous because these are crumbs compared to the support which farmers in the prosperous West receive from those same citizens, year in, year out. In 2008, European farmers received 45 billion Euros via the European Union, whereas only 160 million Euros was made available for food aid.  
Food aid is all very fine, but it would be even better if that help was not required because the people in the countries concerned were able to feed themselves. Countries who try to be self sufficient are quickly disillusioned, as was obvious in Africa during recent years. Cameroon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Togo had, for African standards, a good functioning poultry sector. Thanks to the poultry sector in The Netherlands, amongst others, that business was destroyed.
Where poultry is concerned, the European consumer is mainly interested in the breast of the animal, the chicken fillet. A chicken leg is also acceptable, but it ends there. The consumer here is not interested in the back, the legs and wings, let alone the innards. In this way, a lot of poultry meat remains in the abattoir. These remains were formerly processed in animal fodder, but this has been prohibited since the outbreak of the mad cow disease, a direct consequence of feeding animals to animals.

A new market outlet was sought and found in countries such as Cameroon, where chickens are initially kept for their eggs and are then promoted to the status of chickens for slaughter. For obvious reasons, in a country like Cameroon, where the native consumer is less choosy than his European counterpart, very little remains of such a chicken. And so the European poultry sector began dumping her "offal” (in European terms) in Africa, with the help of export subsidies. Those subsidies made the chicken remains from Europe much cheaper than the price that the local poultry farmers were used to asking for a chicken. In the period 1996 to 2003 import of European chicken remains increased in Cameroon from 978 ton to 12,000 ton. In the same period, 90% of local poultry farmers went bankrupt and more than 110.000 people lost their jobs.  
The downfall of the poultry sector had even further consequences. Suppliers were also affected: crop farmers had no more outlets for their maize. They also lost an interesting by-product supplied cheaply by the local poultry sector: chicken manure. Expensive artificial manure was not an option and plants do not thrive without manure. The lower earnings caused a drop in the incomes of the farmers.

When the government of Cameroon tried to turn the tide of unfair competition from Europe by means of import tax levies, they were reprimanded by the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund).  If Cameroon wished to continue to avail of loans, the import tax levies on chicken meat and other products had to be lifted, which, of course, they were. And not only in Cameroon: Ghana, The Ivory Coast and Togo also encountered the same blackmail. In this way, agriculture in a number of African countries was, and is still effectively strangled, because this does not only apply to poultry. Heavily subsidized European pureed tomatoes plague the lives of African market gardeners. Dairy farmers barely get a chance to build up their businesses because extremely cheap, heavily subsidised powdered milk from Europe is available in the shops. Here, also, the Dutch farmer plays a part: Friesland Dairy Foods is one of the larger players on the African market.

Coming back to the chicken, the European poultry sector is also hindered by competition. Production in Thailand and Brazil is much cheaper and the poultry farmers in those countries do not need export subsidies to be able to compete with Europe. So Europe tries to keep the market doors closed and only small amounts of meat from those countries is allowed in. Putting it more correctly: all chicken is welcome here, but if import to Europe exceeds the 260,000 ton a year, a firm import tax needs to be paid for the excess. To compare: The Netherlands alone exports more than twice that amount in chicken meat.
Both the IMF and the World Bank remain discretely silent about the import taxes imposed by Europe on other producers in order to protect her own poultry sector.