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
Is France still a major agricultural powerhouse?
 
France is:

- The European Union’s largest producer and its second largest exporter1;

- The world’s eighth largest producer2 and fourth largest agricultural exporter3;

… And this in spite of an increasingly fierce European and international competition.

Thanks to the vitality and competitiveness of its agriculture, France thus still ranks among the world’s major agricultural powerhouses.

As a result, some are even saying, “Everything our agriculture touches turns into gold”.

But with the stated ambition of the United States, Brazil or Russia in an unregulated environment, the competitiveness of French agriculture is jeopardized, even opposite Germany within the European Union.

This issue must be a top national priority, and guide upcoming policy decisions.

Policies promoting innovation and price stability at the root of French agricultural power in the 20th century

Beyond its geographical and real property trump cards, the strength of French agriculture has long been based on assets in terms of innovation or agronomic research––a top priority of all governments in the second half of the 20th century.

Results were commensurate with the objectives assigned, with textbook productivity gains that enable France to move up to the front of the pack of higher agricultural yields.

Yields and Productivity In major global producing countries4

 
A regulatory CAP has greatly fostered the development of an institutional framework backing price stability, and thus productive investments that enhance agricultural production growth.

France thus ranks among the first five world’s producers for a variety of crops––wheat, which is the staple food for over a third of the global population5, sugar beet, rapeseed as well as various fruit and vegetables6.


A power now called into question by the CAP dismantling and competition that is difficult to sustain.

The competitive positions of French agriculture have been steadily deteriorating for over ten years: In 1995, France still ranked as the world’s sixth largest agricultural producer and the second largest exporter of agricultural products7.

The causes of such deterioration can be assigned to the two following factors:

- The dismantling of the Common Agricultural Policy that weakened most French and European farmers due to a stronger exposure to price volatility;

- The emergence of large agricultural powerhouses, such as Brazil, China or India, which have the ability to maintain their prices by social or environmental dumping;

- And lastly, the loss of competitiveness of French agriculture within the European Union, a result of the lack of fiscal and social harmonization, and higher employment costs in France8.


According to momagri, ending his negative spiral is possible. It is imperative to replace production at the core of agricultural policies in order to support the productivity and competitiveness of French agriculture.

Such requirement involves continuing to invest to promote innovation, and at the same time implementing regulatory policies to curb agricultural price volatility, which has a negative impact on investment.

1 2011 Eurostat et Global Trade Atlas statistics
2 2011 Global Trade Atlas statistics
3 2010 FAO statistics
4 According to 2011 FAO and 2010 World Bank statistics
5 International Development Research Center
6 FAO Stat, 2009, production in value terms
7 FAO and WTO statistics
8 French National Assembly report by Representative Bernard Reynès, “Analysis and proposals regarding issues of labor costs in the agricultural production sector”, June 2011.
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Paris, 27 November 2014