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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.
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In France and Germany
pessimism amongst farmers is gaining ground



Frédéric Hénin, Editor-in-Chief


Article published in Terre-net Média



The majority of French and German farmers believe that their farm’s economic situation will be quite negative for the next three years with the decline they have observed for the past year set for the long-term.

The implementation of the CAP, regulation and price levels weigh heavily on the morale of both French and German farmers, with economic decline felt on both sides of the Rhine. This has been observed since the beginning of 2014 and is set for the long-term. Farmers in both countries do no not expect any improvement for the next two to three years, but many German farmers still believe their economic situation to be positive rather than negative. This is the opposite of the feeling in France.

Such are the findings of a joint investigation carried out in Germany and France at the end of last year by the Ifop and Produkt Markt institutes with 2,500 farmers. The study was commissioned by the Fnsea (National Federation of Farmers’ Unions) and its German counterpart the Dbv (The German Farmers’ Association).

That being said, does the more pronounced pessimism of French farmers reflect the French mind-set in general? Or is the actual economic situation of their farms, structurally more fragile and therefore more vulnerable?

The Franco-German survey does not answer this question. However, the deteriorating economic situation of grain farms observed on both sides of the Rhine is more brutal than other sectors and is more pronounced for French farmers than their German colleagues (2d graph). In Germany, the majority of grain growers still believe their situation to be positive rather than negative. In France, the reverse is again true with a particularly severe decline.

At the end of 2012, French grain growers were proportionally equal to the Germans when declaring the good economic health of their farms; the only sector to reach this level.


NO PROSPECT FOR RECOVERY

Survey results from both institutes are in line with the latest 2014 revenue forecasts and reflect the difficulties experienced in the field.

In France “almost 40% of farmers have encountered difficulties in the last three months against 13% in Germany. German difficulties always concern climatic hazards while in France they focus on the decline in production costs, operating expenses and the burden of environmental regulations”, found Ifop and Produkt Markt.

The situation of German and French soilless farmers deteriorated last year, after the introduction of import bans on agricultural products imposed by the Russian Federation. During the autumn, the deterioration was less pronounced for dairy farmers who were still enjoying the good economic context in the dairy markets, particularly in France.

But it seems that the economic decline currently experienced by the farmers interviewed by the institutes, is more rapid in Germany and is long-term with no prospects for short-term recovery.

Pessimism has won on both banks of the Rhine. On the horizon of 2017/2018, German farmers think they will in fact more likely to be in negative rather than positive circumstances; a feeling that will be shared by the same proportion of the French farmers.


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Paris, 18 December 2018