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

G7 Agricultural Ministers Meeting: a flat EEG reading

April 25, 2016


The agriculture ministers (or their representatives1) of the G7 member countries, namely the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, France and the UK, accompanied by Japan, the host country of the G7 Summit to be held on 26th and 27th May, as well as the European Commission, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, the FAO and the OECD, met in Japan on 22nd and 23rd April.

In their final declaration (the "Declaration of Niigata"), G7 leaders, in the usual terms, reaffirmed their commitment to promoting innovation and investment in agriculture in the fight against the ageing of the agricultural population and extreme weather risks, by promoting the New Alliance, the controversial program initiated in 2012, based on the principle that investment by international private companies in agriculture would increase agricultural production and consequently improve food security and reduce poverty.

Yes, research and development are essential; Yes, waste is a key issue for contemporary societies; yes, young people and women are paramount to agriculture; Obviously, climate change and the climate agreement around the new French initiative of 4/1000 are just as important. But the fact remains that the final declaration as well as Phil Hogan’s2 speeches have been widely agreed. While the last WTO meeting in Nairobi showed that the global governance of agricultural policies had been stalled, no proposal appears on this topic and the paragraphs of the Niigita declaration end systematically with the same formulas: "these commitments must comply with the commitments made in the context of international trade" or "in accordance with WTO3 commitments".

We are a long way from the progress made during the Aquila Summit (Italy) in 2009, or those of the agricultural G20 in 2011. This G7 meeting of Agriculture Ministers, the first since the Aquila Summit in 2009, raises the issue of its very existence, whereas the G20 would have credibility in continuing the work initiated in 2011.

As illustrated by the "Declaration of Niigata" and Phil Hogan in his speech, the new discourse today is based on farmers' resilience but also on the promotion of financial instruments as a response to farmers needs of capital, as borrowing rates have never been lower, there is overproduction on agricultural markets and the farmers the most affected by the economic downturn are the most indebted, this promotion of financial instruments only reveals an almost mystical faith in the "all powerful" finance.

Finally, it is undoubtedly in the sidelines of the meeting that the most interesting discussions appear to have taken place. Though all were not transcribed, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of State for American agriculture, notably mentioned the "increased income of US producers and employees4" as one of the major priorities of the United States.

How many more meetings will be necessary before a real turn towards a renewed global governance of agricultural policies?


1 France was represented by the Ambassador of France in Japan, Thierry Dana
2 Phil Hogan’s two speeches are available from liens
http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/commissioner-speeches/pdf/hogan-2016-04-23-g7-agriculture-ministers.pdf
and http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/commissioner-speeches/pdf/hogan-2016-04-24-g7-agriculture-ministers.pdf

3 The entire declaration is available from
http://www.maff.go.jp/j/press/kokusai/boueki/pdf/160424-02.pdf

4 http://sfntoday.com/vilsack-led-us-delegation-to-g7-meeting/


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Paris, 15 December 2018