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

The new French Government action plan:
The end of biofuels?

September 24, 2012


On September 12, French Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll presented the immediate steps and structural actions included in the Government’s plan announced the previous day by President François Holland during the International Livestock Trade Fair in Rennes. The plan calls for the creation of a new “cost-effective and environmentally efficient” agricultural model to fight price volatility. In times of market stress, France wishes to promote a national and international pause in the development of first-generation biofuels, which are “competing with food.”

As outlined in the action plan, the Government plans to “cap at seven percent the use of crop-based biofuels in fuels, and reach the 10 percent European Union target of renewable energy with the use of second-generation biofuels.” Lastly, if the investments and related employment are not challenged, the governmental road map specifies that the end to government support to first-generation biofuels will be progressively implemented starting in 2014, and be totally eliminated as of December 31, 2015.

Despite gathering rave reviews in the middle 2000s, biofuels and biotechnologies as a whole are now hotly debated issues between denigrators and followers. A fraud for some, a baseless trial for others, the fact remains that Stéphane Le Foll’s “pause” has been the subject of extensive comments. While many are welcoming this initiative and qualify it as “wise” (such as Xavier Beulin of the FNSEA) and positive (for the Coordination Rurale union), others are regretting the temporary suspension, as they feel that biofuels are not responsible for the price volatility of agricultural commodities in international markets. They are also mentioning a false debate regarding the competition between land earmarked for energy use and that designed for food production.

The controversy over biofuels signals once again the government’s versatility: Considered as a miracle only six years ago, biofuel has now become an environmental mirage for many people. Consequently, this new policy goal might change in a few years, at least as long as the understanding and steering instruments of agricultural markets are not improved. We should not forget that without the millions of tons of U.S. corn assigned to biofuels, grain prices would have collapsed, precipitating the bankrupcy of hundreds of thousands of farmers. Do not forget that if the severe drought hitting the United States today has such an impact it is because of the lack of security stocks. Today, it must certainly lead to emergency measures to ensure food security, but not to take measures discouraging the production of renewable biomass.There lays momagri’s objective to define long-term strategic directives that are not contingent on trends.

For one thing is clear, no agricultural policy can evolve if it does not include energy issues.
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Paris, 15 December 2018