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.

Young farmers from 60 countries endorsed a manifesto to defend their status

Arnaud Carpon, journalist, Terre-net Média

Article published in Terre-net Média

On the occasion of the International Year of Agriculture proclaimed by the United Nations in 2014, the French Union of Young Farmers (JA) gathered about sixty foreign delegations of young farmers to endorse, in the presence of Stéphane Le Foll, a manifesto to defend their status and their role in the development of agriculture worldwide.

This is a first in over ten years. Young Farmers from over 60 countries met in Bordeaux following the invitation from the JA and ADFDI (Agriculteurs Français et Développement International) to discuss the setting-up, status and role of young farmers in the development of family farming.

At the Summit’s conclusion in presence of French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll, the signature of a manifesto so that the farming profession be recognized in the International Labor Organization. The lack of such recognition is wholly inadmissible, since “family farmers are accounting for 40 percent of the global workforce,” stated Thomas Diemer, President of the JA.

Although family farming has multiple dimensions––depending on whether it is in Europe or in an African country––the manifesto “cannot be the sum of all demands in each country,” added the JA president. The French young farmers aim to support their foreign counterparts in defending what they are claiming for themselves in France, that is to say a social and legal recognition, especially within cooperative businesses.

All nations aspire to develop their agricultural activities. However, this development always generates a decline in the agricultural population, indicates Jean-Michel Sourrisseau, a researcher with the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD). “In Northern countries as well as in developing nations, the modernization of equipment has led to over-indebtedness.” In other words, strengthening agriculture does not always allow earning an income.

The fact is that only two percent of all farmers have a tractor! “And the productivity gaps between non-motorized and motorized farmers range from one to 1,000,” explains the researcher. “How can we include the poorer farmers in Southern countries in such blueprint?”


In this context, “family farming is a model for the future” declared the young farmers, who were backed by Stéphane Le Foll. Yet beyond the reluctance of banks to lend funds to young people, the model allowing farmers to make a living in any land is confronted to the mounting greed of major investment funds. “Even in France, the issue is becoming a problem,” explains Emmanuel Hyest, President of the FNSAFER. “The current practices to bypass the SAFER preemption rules are allowing foreign firms to acquire farmland in France.”

In other countries, land pressure from foreign firms continues to increase, very often with government approval. “Throughout the world, 35 million hectares (86.5 million acres) are owned by foreign countries or businesses,” explained Stéphane Le Foll.

Fully in sync with the JA initiative at the Summit, the Minister of Agriculture advocates new discussions on agriculture and the development of family farming. “We asked Russia to include agriculture in the program of its G20 presidency. It declined to do so. And so did Australia.” France is hoping that Turkey repeats the initiative of France, when it presided the G20 and organized a G20 Agricultural Meeting in 2011, to implement measures to fight price volatility.

Pending further discussions on agriculture at the summit of the world major economic powers, the Minister will defend the cause of family farming at the FAO World Food Day on October 16, 2014. Discussions will focus on “reliable investment principles in agriculture.”

The young farmers’ internal manifesto

The young farmers who signed the manifesto are demanding:
    - A recognition of the profession of farmer at the International Labor Organization;
    - The creation of a procedure to represent farmers at the FAO World Food Security Committee;
    - The reactivation of ministerial meetings within the G20 and the organization of a think tank on the agricultural profession––the F20––to serve as a center of new ideas on the issues handled by the agriculture ministers.

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Paris, 16 June 2019