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.
Aidons-nous les agriculteurs qui en ont le plus besoin ?
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Are we helping the farmers who need it the most?

Momagri Editorial Board

March 6, 2017

Find here the video of the debate

On 27th February at the Agricultural Fair, TV Agri journalist Jean-Paul Hébrard interviewed four agricultural experts: Jacques Carles (Managing Director of Momagri), Jeremy Decerle (Young Farmers’ President), Rémy Mainguy (Dairy producer in Maine et Loire) and Jean-Marie Séronie (Agro-economist).

The four debated the central question of the future of our common agricultural policy: Are we giving aid to those farmers who really need it? This was an opportunity for each to exchange views on the CAP, the different tools and subsidies to be reviewed or implemented, as well as the evolution of agricultural policies elsewhere around the world.

The CAP is today an “exhausted” system says Jean-Marie Séronie. Jeremy Decerle confirmed this, with the same idea: Europe has no vision for its agriculture. And for good reason, the aid currently offered by the CAP, Jacques Carles continues, “must enable farmers to cope with price volatility [...] unfortunately most of this aid is decoupled and, as it is decoupled, it has no connection whatsoever with economic reality”.

Rémy Mainguy, for his part, insists on the fact that farmers are permanently “on a drip”, which is not normal. Moreover, Jacques Carles from Momagri states current aid is all the more open to debate, since it is difficult to justify its use when prices are high and it is insufficient when prices are low. For him, however, aid remains indispensable for agriculture, because “it is impossible in the heavy investment trades to have visibility at 6 months”.

Jeremy Decerle agrees, he warns that “the market as a whole doesn’t work”. Unlike other countries, “Europe does not have a policy for times of crisis”, says J. Carles, “we can not ask farmers to face price collapse and not offer them anything in return”. And he states that unlike many foreign countries “European policy is the only policy that does not take this reality into account”.

Rémy Mainguy then raised the issue of market dysfunction. From this point of view, Jean-Marie Séronie says we must “give farms the means to adapt to price changes". He says “price changes are not going away”. Jacques Carles, also states “there is no question of eliminating price changes, it is [...] a question of avoiding a situation where the most important price changes put farmers into difficulty”.

The Momagri Managing Director uses examples from abroad, and explains that “looking at the agricultural policies of the United States, China, Brazil and of all the major producing countries, they have policies with increasingly more aid because global markets are increasingly more competitive and increasingly more speculative. Jérémy Decerle said that in the United States “80% of Farm Bill subsidies are food subsidies”.

Jacques Carles confirms that in the United States “domestic food aid, amounting to more than 100 billion USD, is a form of support for American farmers because it disposes of American agricultural produce, the equivalent of 20 to 25 billion USD in subsidies for agricultural output, which is in addition to income support for the poorest people”.

We must therefore rethink the CAP as a whole and for Jeremy Decerle, aid should be focussed on those who make their living from agriculture. “We must develop a CAP that makes sense and redefine who it should help”, suggesting a focus on farm assets.

All of them ultimately agree that there is a need for strategic vision and real agricultural ambition, driven by a political will which is lacking at the European level.

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Paris, 19 June 2019