For a disruptive agricultural policy

For a disruptive agricultural policy

Tribune. Today, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supports the producer but ignores the consumer by disconnecting agriculture from food. As students and young graduates in agronomy, we are convinced that the future reform of the CAP must be considered at the level of the territories, integrate the citizen-consumer and go beyond the sole economic concerns. To influence decision-making, we advocate the convergence of diverse collectives which largely involve civil society. This is why we are supporting the “Our plate for tomorrow” movement, which promotes social progress and agroecology within the next CAP coming into force at the end of 2021.

Promote equity and job retention

Labor productivity gains achieved during the second half of the 20th centurye century have contributed to the disappearance of nearly 1.2 million farms from 1970 to today (1). The reason ? A blind belief in economies of scale, the efficiency of capital-labor substitution, and the inexhaustibility of resources. This has led to the destruction of jobs and makes farmers vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The answer will not come only from technology, genetics and chemistry, but from an overhaul of our agricultural model. Rather than subsidizing land rent and investment, let us support work in order to promote equity, the maintenance of agricultural employment and not to encourage the expansion and industrialization of agricultural structures.

The CAP should make it possible to develop local initiatives, to bring agriculture closer to consumers and to allow all citizens to have access to diversified and quality food. Today, the CAP looks more like a complex catalog of independent measures, rather than a coherent whole in which the farmer is supported towards a change of model. This does not allow local elected officials to fully grasp the issues, complicates its teaching and creates real opacity in the eyes of the citizen-consumer.

The future CAP, which will apply from 2021 to 2027, is being negotiated at European level. Within the framework of the National Strategic Plan where each Member State lists its priorities and proposals, citizens are called upon to express their views. The public debate “ImPACtons” mobilizing civil society will take place until October 28, 2020 everywhere in France and allow citizens’ proposals to be integrated.

Glaring socio-environmental damage

We therefore come to an observation: the first policy of the European Union takes us straight into the wall with tens of billions of euros. The tools are inoperative, the decisions technocratic and the socio-environmental damage glaring! We must completely rethink this agricultural policy, go back to the foundations of the agriculture we want for the coming years and relaunch an ambitious social contract around our food.

In this collective project, we, Agros, have a special place. We will be agricultural engineers, agricultural engineers, agri-food engineers, life engineers. We will work at the heart of these problems.

Let us get involved in popular education to give citizens the opportunity to take up agricultural and food issues. Let us create spaces for discussion allowing this appropriation, let us alert citizens to the importance of this renegotiation.

Let us have the courage to assume this social responsibility. Let us have the courage to get involved.

(1) Desriers, M. 2007 ; Insee, 2020.

The entire list of signatories.

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