Content of the draft agriculture law presented to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday

Food Sovereignty and Renewal: The French Government’s Draft Orientation Law Tackles Agricultural Challenges

The French government is set to discuss and adopt the draft orientation law on agriculture, which focuses on “food sovereignty” and the “renewal of generations,” at the Council of Ministers. The bill has been revised after an agricultural crisis to address farmers’ demands, who have been critical of red tape and certain environmental standards.

One of the key aspects of the new law is the recognition of agriculture, fishing, and aquaculture as being of “major general interest.” This designation aims to guide decisions on agricultural projects and disputes while ensuring that public policies contribute to enhancing food security without burdening farmers. The bill also addresses the challenges of attracting new workers to the agricultural sector, adapting production systems to climate change, and reducing procedural delays in cases of litigation related to irrigation projects and livestock buildings.

The draft law includes the creation of a new agro bachelor diploma and a national network for agricultural services to support new installations. Furthermore, it allows for the formation of agricultural land investment groups to facilitate access to land for new farmers. Additionally, efforts will be made to simplify regulations regarding the planting and preservation of hedges to promote biodiversity and environmental protection.

While some agricultural unions have expressed support for the bill, others have expressed concerns about its lack of ambition and its impact on food sovereignty. As the bill moves through Parliament’s legislative process, it is likely that it will undergo further amendments and debates before being adopted by Ministers.

Overall, this draft law seeks to address several issues facing France’s agricultural sector, including generational renewal, climate change adaptation, regulatory simplification, attracting new workers to agriculture sectors and promoting sustainable farming practices while maintaining export markets for products like cereals, wines and dairy.

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