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

U.S. Congress puts agriculture at risk

27 June 2011



As we have repeatedly stated, agricultural budgets are at the heart of debates on both sides of the Atlantic1. In the United States, the restrictions feared by the defenders of the Farm Bill, and more generally by a strong American agriculture, are becoming clearer.

On 16th June, the U.S. House of Representatives indeed adopted a draft budget law for agriculture of $125.5 billion, which contains a series of controversial cuts. Among the more concerning budget cuts, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.S. regulator of commodities markets, saw its budget cut by $136 million compared to that put forward by President Obama in his budget proposal for 2012.

The Democrat Collin C. Peterson, a member of the Standing Committee for Agriculture in the House of Representatives, was quick to react to what he considers to be a new “attack” on agriculture by Congress: “The funds that would allow the CFTC to move ahead with financial reforms and bring about a more open and transparent derivatives market were slashed. I fear that if Congress continues to chip away at farm programs we will be left without an adequate safety net and the end result could potentially cost the government more money, not less2.”

This situation, similar to that in Europe, is linked to a typical problem of risk and insurance: price volatility being the risk, and the Farm Bill the insurance that protects American farmers from that risk. Not paying for insurance would surely be a great saving, to the order of several hundred million dollars a year. But is U.S. Congress ready to expose its agriculture to the threat of a sharp reversal in prices or a lasting crisis, for which the economic, social and political consequences would be far higher. Following the 1929 crisis, the Roosevelt administration, made the opposite bet.


1 See momagri article of 06/06/11 : http://www.momagri.org/UK/focus-on-issues/Current-farm-programs-deserve-criticism-they-violate-original-farm-policy-intent_925.html
2 “The funds that would allow the CFTC to move ahead with financial reforms and bring about a more open and transparent derivatives market were slashed. I fear that if Congress continues to chip away at farm programs we will be left without an adequate safety net and the end result could potentially cost the government more money, not less.”

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Paris, 26 April 2019