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

In Agriculture we trust

March 24, 2014


In late February, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released the preliminary results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture, which is issued every five years1. The data provides a snapshot of a strong rural America that has remained stable, but subjected to endogenous and exogenous risks, such as the recent drought in California––America’s breadbasket.
    - Though US farming incomes are at a record high, America’s farmland has lost 72 million acres since 1982;
    - In addition, while the number of farms has shifted to 2,109,363 from 2,204,792 between 2007 and 2012 (a 1.6 percent decline), the rural population is aging, with the average age of a farmer at 58.3.
Tom Vilsack announced “a new agricultural win”, thanks to the much-delayed Farm Bill, that will gradually reverse the trend regarding farmland losses, and better address climate and market constraints. With the Agricultural Act of 2014, American farmers will benefit from a wide range of insurance tools, not only to safeguard sales but also cover climate hazards and price volatility.

Despite WTO recommendations and through the new Farm Bill, Americans will also urge producers to produce more and to export, in order to support “the world-class leadership” of US farmers, said Tom Vilsack.

Regardless of the data, “In agriculture we trust” seems to be the unwavering mantra on which is based the success of American agriculture. What about Europe? How many divisions among French farmers?

The number of French farmers declined by 21 percent2 in 2000 and 2010. More striking is the fact that between 1963 and 2011, the number of French farmers went down by three million. Between 2000 and 2010, French farms increased in size, but their number was cut by 26 percent. For the same period, this compares with a farm decline of 24 percent in Italy, 29 percent in The Netherlands and 36 percent in Germany. Lastly, the whole of Europe is affected by significant farmland losses, but France is reporting an especially acute pace: the country is losing an average of 82,000 hectares (202,540 acres) of farmland every year, that is to say over 220 hectares (545 acres) each day.

While the situation varies from one member state to the next, especially regarding farming revenues, all European Union nations need regulatory mechanisms to stabilize incomes at lucrative levels, and effective market management tools––similarly to the American example––to tackle the increasingly uncertain markets. And yet, the new European directions in terms of agricultural policy are not taking this path. Will farmers be able to make a living from their land tomorrow? Let us hope they will, in the name of European competitiveness and food security.


1 The final document will be available in May 2014.
2 2010 Census.
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Paris, 15 December 2018