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

What if support to agriculture was eliminated?

July 20, 2015

A recent Wall Street Journal article questions the usefulness of farming subsidies to US agriculture by comparing the views from two American economists. The first one thinks that maintaining subsidies through the Farm Bill only assists a certain segment of the agricultural population, although farmers are quite competent to tackle the price and production risks by themselves, that is to say without relying on public authorities. Worse even, by keeping farmers dependent on subsidies, the government might curb their productivity and ability to innovate. Lastly, another argument is the unfair and distortive nature of farming subsidies when compared to developing countries.

By contrast, the second economist feels that subsidies ensure stable and lucrative incomes, and are also one of the conditions to fight food shortages and extreme price volatility. Besides, the success of the Farm Bill comes from the elimination of the direct subsidies implemented 18 years ago, and from the strong crop and revenue insurance systems to guard against market instability and climate hazards.

So, does the Farm Bill still have a future? What about the CAP?

The debate on the sustainability of the Farm Bill or that of the CAP is not a new one. Beyond the ideological and political disagreements it implies, it turns out that both developed and developing nations are now adopting regulatory policies, thus proving once more the strategic nature of food and agriculture. As a result, subsidies are now the norm and not the exception.

While the CAP as well as the Farm Bill are or have been useful, the full effectiveness of such policies lies in the way they are implemented. Yet, it is clear that, contrary to the Farm Bill, the CAP does not meet the European agricultural challenges. In fact, as it drives the uncontrolled liberalization of international agricultural markets, the current CAP mostly involves itself in the progressive and scheduled surrender by the European Union of its regulation mechanisms, much to the dismay of its farmers, who are further exposed to market erratic fluctuations.

Conclusively, it might be high time to reflect on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1936 statement: “We refused to leave the problems of our common welfare to be solved by the winds of chance and the hurricanes of disaster”… and today the sole laws of the market.

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Paris, 24 June 2019