France to become EU leader of agroecology?

At the national conference Produisons Autrement held in December in front of 500 attendees, French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll stated he wanted to make France the leader of agroecology in Europe. Due to the current CAP reform talks, he has not announced any specific targets or dedicated budgets to agroecology.

Michael Schmalenstroer (wikicommons)

For agro-ecological projects in France, Le Foll intends to “initiate a new transfer of agricultural production models.” Speaking on the topic he said “We must leave individual logics and have collective thinking” stating that there is no one size fit all solution.

Three axes for agroecology: awareness, dissemination and encouragement

The first axis involves gathering, organizing and completing the agro-ecological knowledge and experience system. For the second axis, the dissemination of the various initiatives, the Minister intends to mobilize all actors (chambers of agriculture, co-operatives, technical institutes, farmers’ networks…). “Agricultural education is at the heart of it all,” said Stéphane Le Foll, who aims to integrate agroecology in programs and educational standards. Finally, in order to encourage farmers to convert to agroecology, Le Foll said that “CAP incentivisations will be redirected to encourage changes in practices and investments. Agroecology is the priority for the mobilization of Pillar II measures: We will launch systemic agri-environmental measures.

Beyond these three axes, current action plans like Ecophyto 2018 will be strengthened. Five others plans will be mobilized: Ecoantibio Plan, a Nitrogen/Biogas plan, a biodiversity map for sustainable beekeeping, a protein plan and a national organic plan.

Samuel Féret
About Samuel Féret 34 Articles
Samuel Féret is project manger at the Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier (IAMM) and a board member of ARC2020.