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.
A look at the news

Farm Bill heading forward final passage

February 3, 2014

After endless months of negotiations, hardly anyone believed it would happen. At last, the Farm Bill reached a compromise and the threat of a dairy cliff has been removed. On January 27, the Senate and the House of Representatives agreed on a joint text toward the final passage of the new Farm Bill. Following the vote of the House of Representatives on January 29, this latest version––slow to materialize after a three-year impasse––must now be adopted in the Senate by mid-February.

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Agricultural Act 0f 2014 will be in force for five years and will authorize about $489 billion for agricultural and food spending for 2014 to 2018, 80 percent of which for food programs and 20 percent for agricultural subsidies. The new Farm Bill will thus cost $956 billion over 10 years, putting the savings at only $23 billion. As expected, the new legislation:
    - Brings an end to the 18-year old direct payments to farmers, and beefs up crop insurance programs through the Agriculture Risk Insurance Coverage and the Price Loss Coverage to protect farmers against natural disasters and climate hazards. It is interesting to note that, for its part, the European Union takes the opposite approach by allocating the biggest portion of its budget to uncoupled direct payments.

    - Improves soil and water conservation requirements for future generations and also streamlines the various environmental protection programs by cutting their number to 13 from 23.

    - Cuts the food stamp program for Americans by $8.5 billion over a decade. As the main point of contention between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)––formerly called “food stamps”––was particularly difficult to secure due to budgetary squabbles between the two houses of Congress. For the record, SNAP recipients have exploded in number during the past few years, swelling to 47.6 million in 2013 from 28.2 million.
The final agreement is not meeting a complete consensus but was overall welcomed by the country’s key agricultural unions.

A strong advocate of the Dairy Security Act, the National Milk Producers Federation acknowledges that the endorsed program, although it is incomplete, will help farmers to tackle milk and food price volatility, and that it will send appropriate signals to better adjust supply and demand. For its part, the National Farmers Union (NFU) welcomes the Livestock Disaster Assistance passage that includes a $4-billion fund to assist livestock farmers in case of adversity.

As flawed as it may be, the new Farm Bill nevertheless corroborates the increased counter-cyclical and mostly insurance-related scope of the American agricultural legislation, as shown by the expansion of crop/revenue insurance programs to safeguard against market instability and climate hazards. The clear objective of the Farm Bill is above all providing farmers with a safety net to ensure minimum revenues to establish the American domestic and foreign competitiveness of agriculture. Could we say the same for the provisions concerning the new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy?

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Paris, 25 June 2019