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

The new Farm Bill will wait for the next
White House occupant…

October 1st, 2012


While the CAP is also undergoing changes, reforming the Farm Bill is raising similar concerns and debates in a context of agricultural price hyper-volatility, tight budget and a highly indebted Federal government. The situation is all the more serious since the United States, currently in the midst of a presidential race, must face the aftermath of the record drought in the Corn Belt, the worst in 56 years.

As predicted by many observers, the Congress, on September 26, 2012, decided to wait for the formation of the new administration after the November 6, presidential elections, before resuming negotiations on the draft of a new agricultural bill, since the current one expired on September 30. In all likelihood, and pending the electoral outcome, this framework could be extended by one year.

On June 21, 2012, the Democrat-controlled Senate passed the Committee on Agriculture’s proposal to reform the Farm Bill. As we previously mentioned it, this legislation is a major reversal of American agricultural policy, most notably by proposing the end of direct decoupled payments to strengthen crop insurance programs. On July 12, 2012, the Committee on Agriculture of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives adopted the basic outline of the project, while placing greater emphasis on budget cuts.

The reactions to the delay were swift. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack blamed the Republicans for fostering this umpteenth obstruction, while the farm lobby is concerned by the drastic cuts in the agriculture budget, which could be dictated by a new president. For others, patience is the mother of all virtues: this decision has the merit of not rushing into a vote on a slapdash reform that could have the most negative consequences for an already weakened economic sector…

The inevitable reduction of incentive and the lack of efficient and lasting protection in case of price turnarounds are among the stumbling blocks of the reform. In fact, this project foresees a budget lowered by $23 billion, as compared with that of the past five years, and such drastic reduction is not to everyone’s liking. The issue even came up this summer in the presidential race in Iowa, when President Obama accused Paul Ryan––Mitt Romney’s running mate––to have blocked some agricultural incentives in spite of the drought.

Both the Farm Bill and the CAP are urgent strategic reforms that must be carried out. The CAP reform, as proposed by the European Commission, is less effectual than the Farm Bill in incorporating mechanisms to fight price volatility and safety nets for agricultural incomes. The issue of better protection for farmers, which drives the proposed reform of the U.S. agricultural policy, can and must be included to the European debate.
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Paris, 17 December 2018