A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Pierre Pagesse.
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.
Agriculture's key figures
For French farmers, incomes can vary by over one- third from one year to the next!
 
- In 2008, the average annual income1 of French farmers was €25,300.

- In 2009, the figure dropped by more than 40 percent to reach €14,200, or less than 90 percent of the French annual guaranteed minimum wage (SMIC) 2.

- It has stabilized around €30,000 for the 2010-2011 period.3

What will happen in 2012?

No other economic activity experiences such income variations from one year to the next! More importantly, no other income swings around such a low household income average.

For a long time, the CAP has allowed to efficiently fight the trend of unstable agricultural revenue. The tendency increased during the past few years, while Common Market Organizations (OCM) were being dismantled.

4

Beyond their instability, agricultural incomes fell behind the national average from the mid-1970s onward…

While French household salaries have regularly
 
risen since 1970, farmers:

- Saw their trend revenues collapse (Index 140 in 2010, compared with more than 200 for household incomes);

- Suffered from huge instability that heightens the consequences of this downward trend.

… due to political as well as economic factors

This income instability and downward trend result from several developments:

- The dismantling of regulatory mechanisms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) initiated as early as 1992, generating a powerful comeback of agricultural price volatility, which may cause price fluctuations from 30 to 70 percent over a period of a few months for grain5;

- The rise of production input prices, such as fertilizers and energy…

In fact, this agricultural income instability threatens the sustainability of our agricultural activities and the competitiveness of our agro-food industries.

Indeed, in an environment in which farmers invest and carry huge debt loads to remain ever more competitive, these income fluctuations can bring them a fatal blow.

Momagri feels that it is now urgent to develop a regulation policy that provides farmers with more stable revenues, and covers production costs.

Otherwise, French farmers will also leave the land, just like farmers in poorer countries are doing it.

1 The average yearly income is the current result before taxes per self-employed worker = (operating revenue + mixed results & financial products) – (operating expenditures + financial costs).
2 Reaching €16,052.40 in 2009 (INSEE).
3 French Ministry of Agriculture, December 2011.
4 A farm’s net income per worker is the net added value, plus operating subsidies and less taxes levied on production. The available gross income is the part of primary results left for household consumption and savings.
5 For instance, soft wheat prices dropped by 40 percent between August and December 2008, and by 34 percent between February and June 2011.
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Paris, 26 July 2014