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.
 

Objectives, Approach, Organisation of the momagri

 

I
Why set up a World Organization for Agriculture?

Because decisions taken by the WTO and reform of the CAP are meaningless unless there are rules:

 

> to counter any drift towards speculative excess which, against all economic forecasts, drag prices down into a dangerous spiral, and seriously destabilize agriculture throughout the world.

> and to avoid the mass of collective costs, which have still never been assessed, that our societies would have to pay tomorrow if agriculture did not benefit from specific regulations.

We believe that currently used systems and decision-making tools (agricultural economic models, methods and the foundation stone of WTO negotiations), are no longer capable of dealing with the challenges that agriculture represents for the future of humanity:

 

> fighting poverty,
> satisfying growing food requirements,
> ensuring the independence and sovereignty of States,…

And we want to make sure that the world’s agriculture tomorrow does not become concentrated in just a few geographic areas that benefit from unwarranted earnings (vast territories, a lack of welfare, contempt for the environment) that could therefore affect food security on a worldwide scale.

Should we be prepared to accept the risk that, as a result of a mishap in the climate or geopolitics, etc., we might be cut off from this supply?

This is why our movement intends:

 

> to re-inform as many as possible on the strategic importance of agriculture,
> to come up with the appropriate proposals to organize world governance of agriculture.

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II
How to set up a World Organization for Agriculture?

This Movement, which we have called the World Organization for Agriculture (momagri) is not opposed to the WTO, nor to the CAP reforms.

momagri aspires to make certain objectives compatible which, as things stand, appear difficult to reconcile:

 

> the fight against poverty, the terms of which are described by the Millennium Round,
> the liberalization of exchanges sought by the Doha agreements,
> community preference and the sustainable development of territories within the framework of the common agricultural policy.

momagri is thus at the very heart of the challenges we face at a time when it is urgent to develop international cooperation to overcome current stumbling blocks. For this purpose:

 

> It will work through an international association bringing together a multitude of key players and decision-makers around principles we are determined to defend. Its mission will be to make sure public opinion is fully aware of the strategic importance of agriculture.

> It will create a new economic model, the NAR model, using a “game theory“ approach to modelize the agricultural sector in a more satisfactory manner than currently used models, because it is vital that the specific nature of agriculture and all its interactions with other economic sectors should be taken into account.

> An international assessment and ratings agency, the NAR Agency, will be entrusted with the mission of providing permanent, pertinent information which will form the basis for political decisions and international choices: regular prices, stock levels, sustainable development, the fight against social dumping, respect for the environment, etc.

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III
CAP and WTO: Agriculture at risk

The CAP and the WTO negotiations are based on the principle of free exchange and the virtues of fair competition whose contribution to collective well being is undeniable.

However, in order to benefit from these principles, international cooperation in favour of joint regulation must be set up, as agriculture is both strategic and specific.

Our societies must not forget that agriculture is a component part of independence and sovereignty which must be preserved and maintained everywhere in a world:

 

> with a fast-growing population,
> where new powers are emerging,
> and which is subject to ever greater tensions with regard both to security and commercial interests.

Europe is in the front line, with the CAP considered by some as preventing it from moving forward when in fact, the agricultural policy is the only integrated European policy. The fact that this point has been forgotten only contributed to the rejection of the constitutional treaty by France and the Netherlands.

This is why the arguments of detractors of the CAP are fallacious and can be swept away in just a few words.
Indeed:

 

> The agricultural budget only represents 40% of the community budget which in turn is limited to 1% of the GDP of member states.

> Thus, Europe devotes 0.4% of the community GDP to support an economic sector (agriculture and agri-food) that actually represents 15% of its GDP.

> Accordingly, since the average taxation rate in European States is between 45% and 55% of the GDP, we can see that agriculture represents less than 1% of taxation.

It is therefore urgent to move away from this false vision that stigmatizes the agricultural world.

Because if other European policies were integrated, we would have the same precise figures concerning the level of public support they receive, and we would see that it is much higher than that allocated to agriculture.

And so it is not by sacrificing the CAP that we will be able to provide Europe, and its lack of political direction, with new impetus.

On the contrary, the future of Europe is dependent on a solid CAP,
its only source of nourishment today.

Indeed, what would happen if the break up of the CAP and the liberalization of international agricultural markets were to continue without any rules?

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IV
The risk: profound destabilization on a planetary scale

…...for Less Developed Countries (LDCs)

 

> Continual aggravation of the economic situation of LDCs because of the permanent drop in prices on highly speculative markets.

> The risk of collapse of numerous LDCs confronted with definitive exodus from rural territories and the explosive concentration of poverty in megalopolises.

No country can hope for economic development without prior growth of the agricultural sector.

…...for Europe

 

> Loss of competitiveness of European agriculture and continuing drop in agricultural revenues.

> Increased bureaucracy of control and rapid desertification of the countryside.

> Failure of the Lisbon strategy in favour of rural development and unharnessed relocating of agricultural production in countries on the edge of the Union (Ukraine, Turkey and already Eastern Europe).

> Deterioration of Europe’s independence which already has a deficit and is a net importer of the equivalent surface area of 12 million hectares.

> Weakening of the strategic assets and cultural specificity of France and Europe.

Europe is in the process of abandoning the only policy used in its own construction.

And even for the United States, with its system of guaranteed revenues for farmers, will not be able to protect them in the long term (costs, WTO rules).

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V
The international community must acknowledge and act...

Because agricultural exchanges, the subject of WTO negotiations:

 

> are highly concentrated (10 regions are responsible for 90% of world exports),

> only represent 10% in volume of total production.


Consequently, gearing the future of the world’s agriculture to WTO negotiations, which only concern 10% of exchanges, is economic nonsense, and alone justifies the existence of Organization for the World’s Agriculture.

Since the existence of a balanced CAP is the basic condition for any exchange regulation system.

Indeed Europe is a privileged partner of developing countries through the preferential agreements it has signed: exchanges between Europe and developing countries in the agricultural sector are more than three times greater than those that exist between the United States and developing countries.

THUS

Dismantling the CAP and accepting compromise at the WTO without measuring the strategic consequences of such decisions will inevitably lead to:

 

> profound destabilization of developing countries,

> weakening of the West including the United States which, in spite of its overprotection, cannot support such an evolution in markets.

> and therefore, considerable collective costs (economic, social, fiscal, environmental, psychological,…).

Yet, these collective costs have not even been measured, despite the fact we know the causes that engender them and the resulting consequences:

Causes: Drift towards an agricultural
world without regulation





Consequences: Resulting collective
costs



 
Continual drop in market prices and
farmers' revenue:
Unemployment, crops abandoned
countryside deserted

 
New control mechanisms and regulatory context growing more and more complex: flèche Bureaucratic impact and heavy
psychological consequences

 
Modification of production habits and
New obligations:
flèche Loss of competitiveness and less
capacity to adapt

 
Weakening of the rural fabric and supply
chains:
flèche Disappearance of production sectors
and negative effects on land management and the environment

 
Weakening of supply security:
dependence
flèche Strategic impact of outside

 

If the principle of precaution were applied to agriculture, the first step would involve the assessment of these collective costs, particularly for the LDCs which are still the most vulnerable.

It is therefore urgent to face up to these challenges, the real challenges of the 21st century, and create the conditions for the world regulation of agricultural markets.

It is for this reason we have decided to launch the World Organization for Agriculture to which France and Europe must give impetus.

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VI
momagri’s mission

This movement is no more than our duty to ensure food security for all peoples, a precondition for a good balance and peace in the world in order to:

 

« Promote a regulation system of agricultural markets on a world scale, while respecting an economic, social and environmental balance. »

« Favour the development of exchange so that conditions are improved for all farmers, notably those in developing countries, and supply is optimised for all countries. »

« Strengthen potential for research, capacity of investment, productivity and jobs in farming and agri-food activities, in order to constantly improve consumer satisfaction and security. »

« Counter any speculative excess and abusive support which distorts the functioning of the markets to the detriment of sustainable development, by creating and maintaining a model of alert and an evaluation of risks. »

« Develop an information and awareness system which will allow international institutions and national authorities to take adequate measures to regulate agricultural products on world markets. »


momagri will be complementary to the WTO, whose vocation is not to regulate agricultural markets and fight hunger in the world.

In order to reach these objectives, it is vital and urgent to build a regulation model for the world’s agriculture in order to replace the existing models, upon which, for several decades, national and international decisions have been made, as they are extremely unsatisfactory, false in their conclusions and dangerous in the use that is made of them.

Just one example is enough to illustrate this situation:

The model of the World Bank states that the total liberalization of agricultural markets would lead to a gain for everyone in the world of more than 350 billion dollars (which is less than 0.8% of the world’s GDP!), including 240 billion dollars for the developing countries. This sum has recently been revised by economists (by varying certain hypotheses) and this gives results which are even lower, some 25 billion dollars per year for developing countries, which makes $1 per person per year!

But this is false: preferential agreements are not taken into account and several developing countries are getting deeper into poverty through agricultural emigration that is continually fired by the extreme misery of the countryside.

THUS

The liberalization of agriculture without rules within the Doha round would be a catastrophe for the LDCs although the World Bank says otherwise.

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VII
momagri’s approach

It is therefore time to mobilize all those who believe that a different organization of the world’s agriculture is possible, that is both innovative and maintains cultural traditions.

It is for this reason that we are creating the World Organization for Agriculture (momagri), which will involve all those who wish to work with the farming community in order to:

 

> give a meaning and direction to our future,
> create a true perspective and return agriculture to its proper strategic place at a time when the farming community has been thrown into great disarray.

The momagri will define New Agricultural Regulations (NAR) based on:

 

> the new integrating model, the NAR model
> an international agency for assessment and ratings, the NAR agency

The Movement in favour of Organisation for the World’s Agriculture:

Will mobilize renowned figures from the farming community, the main production chains and the agri-food industries.

Will associate non-agricultural representatives (scientists, NGOs, humanists) capable of broadening the field of reflection and integrating the Movement’s ideas and proposals in their words and actions.

Will draw upon a core of experts comprising economists with a worldwide reputation that will develop the NAR model so that if becomes an unchallengeable reference on an international scale.

Will set up procedures for alert, evaluation and recommendations which:

 

> will provide governmental authorities with the framework for a new policy on an international scale.
> will facilitate the implementation of new regulation mechanisms that will contribute to a positive evolution of the CAP and WTO negotiations.



The Organization of momagri

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VIII
The momagri Model

This model will provide a better picture of the real situation and facilitate the running of international negotiations on a more credible basis, guaranteeing more harmonious development of agricultural systems throughout the world.

The choice we have made to meet these requirements is that of a systemic approach and a model of the game theory built around three essential dimensions for the agricultural sector:

 

> The economic dimension,
> The political dimension and the importance of commercial negotiations,
> The other main areas that interact with the agricultural sector (environmental, societal, development, energy).

The Game Theory is the strategic discipline which modelises a sector or a complex situation, which is not cut off from the rest of the economy but takes into consideration interactions which exist with its environment.

Like the human body, where standard models consider human organs to be independent of each other, and are therefore concerned about only one organ when giving their diagnosis, a game theory model on the contrary will take into account all the organs and the way in which they interact. We therefore produce a final diagnosis which is far more complete and apt to describe agricultural reality.

The interest in using such an approach to modelise agricultural realities is triple-fold. It will in fact:


>
take into account all agricultural specifities, by integrating other sectors which interact with the agricultural sector, such as energy, transport, environmental standards, phytosanitary rules, taxation …
> realise the strategic importance of agriculture by placing it at the crossroads of strategic stakes such as the environment, energy, food security and the fight against poverty, which current models are incapable of doing.
> give a model to political decision-makers which can be used as a new reference for international negotiations, which will enable them to give satisfactory answers to fundamental questions such as:
• knowing if liberalisation is necessary, when and how,
• where to situate trade as a role of supply security and food sovereignty
• how to set up a policy of liberalisation which will result in a stable and durable situation (WTO’s objective) required by all regions in the world (because measuring the impact of liberalisation is one thing, but studying the sharing-out of rewards which result from it, is another),
> defining the principles of world governance of agriculture.

(cf. momagri’s report “International agricultural models on the test bench”)


The conceptual architecture of the momagri model

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IX
The NAR Agency

The NAR agency will comprise a network of experts from all over the world which, like financial ratings, social, environmental or ethical agencies will develop a methodology based on a multidisciplinary model developing an awareness with public authorities and the general public on the dangers and speculative excesses of agricultural markets.
It will also release opinions and figures that could call into question the credibility of certain decisions and the relevance of certain political or organizational choices.


Organization of the NAR Agency

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Our program
Paris, 10 December 2018