A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Is the new Farm Bill on the right track?

May 27, 2013


While the current Farm Bill has been extended until it expires on September 30, 2013, the agriculture committees of the Congress––Senate and House of Representatives––resumed the legislative work to reach a vote on the new Farm Bill named “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act” before the end of September. In spite of an emerging consensus, the proposals from both the Senate and House of Representatives are planning for significant budget cuts.

On May 14, the Senate Agriculture Committee adopted a Farm Bill project with a $955 billion budget for the next ten years, i.e. a total cut of $23 billion. On May 16, it was the House of Representatives’ turn to propose a $940 billion budget for agriculture during the next ten years, i.e. a total cut of $40 billion. As part of the changes in the next Farm Bill, we note the following cuts suggested by the House of Representatives for the next decade: A $20.5 billion drop in domestic food aid programs, a $18.6 billion cut in direct subsidies and a $4.8 billion reduction of environmental programs. On the other hand, the crop insurance budget would be boosted by $9 billion.

The draft of the Senate Agriculture Committee, to be officially approved at the beginning of June by the Senate, stays in line with the legislation that was on the table last year. It plans for a total elimination of uncoupled direct aid, so that it is mostly based on coupled, guaranteed and countercyclical measures and reinforced risk management tools through crop insurance programs. Yet one reports an innovation: coupling environmental requirements with crop insurance support.

In all likelihood, the House of Representatives might not oppose the text proposed by the Senate and could officially adopt it during the summer. In addition, one must note that the Obama Administration did not hide its preference for the Farm Bill project presented by the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Despite the debates raised by the new agricultural legislation in the U.S., the Farm Bill reform embodies the “do better with less” old saying. For this reform proves that even under a restricted budget, the strategic intent of an agricultural policy can be maintained. Following the May 14 vote, Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, clearly confirmed it by stating "Instead of subsidies that pay out every year even in good times, the bill creates risk management tools that support farmers when they are negatively impacted by weather disaster or market events beyond their control."

In the context of the upcoming negotiations for the implementation of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the European Union, Brussels must learn from this and put again the fate of agriculture and farmers and the heart of policy strategies.
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Paris, 17 December 2018