A strategic revitalization of agriculture is crucial. Indeed, the process of industrialization has often overshadowed the agricultural sector, which although benefiting in its turn from modern technology has nevertheless lost importance with notable consequences, even at the cultural level. It seems to me that it is time to re-evaluate agriculture, not in a nostalgic sense but as an indispensable resource for the future.
In the present economic situation, the dynamic economies are tempted to pursue advantageous alliances, which nevertheless may have detrimental results for other poorer States, situations of extreme poverty among the masses and the depletion of the natural resources of the earth that God has entrusted to man, as it says in Genesis, so that he may till it and keep it. And in spite of the crisis it can still be seen that in the old industrialized countries, lifestyles marked by unsustainable consumerism are encouraged. These also prove damaging for the environment and for the poor. Then a really concerted aim for a new balance between farming, industry and services is necessary so that development may be sustainable, so that no one will lack bread and work, air and water, and that the other fundamental resources may be preserved as universal rights. Thus it is essential to cultivate and spread a clear ethical awareness that is equal to facing the most complicated challenges of our time. Everyone should be taught to consume in a wiser and more responsible way. We should promote personal responsibility along with a social dimension of rural activities based on the undying values of hospitality, solidarity and sharing the toil of labour. – Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, 14Nov2010