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

France is set to adopt a new orientation law on agriculture, centered on “food sovereignty” and the “renewal of generations”. The long-awaited draft bill has been revised in light of the agricultural crisis, taking into account farmers’ demands for less red tape and stricter environmental standards. The political journey leading up to this moment has been tumultuous, with Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announcing over 400 million euros in emergency aid and opening discussions with farmers to emphasize the importance of agriculture.

One of the key aspects of the new law is the recognition of agriculture and fishing as being of “major general interest” alongside aquaculture. This designation aims to guide decisions on agricultural projects and disputes, ensuring that public policies contribute to enhancing food security without burdening farmers. The aim is to strengthen France’s food sovereignty while maintaining its export markets for products like cereals, wines, and dairy.

The bill also addresses the challenges of attracting new workers to the agricultural sector, as well as adapting production systems to climate change. It 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.

The government has committed to reducing procedural delays in cases of litigation related to irrigation projects and livestock buildings. In cases of environmental damage, the text proposes replacing criminal sanctions with administrative penalties to encourage ecological restoration rather than punitive measures. Additionally, efforts will be made to simplify regulations regarding the planting and preservation of hedges to promote biodiversity and environmental protection.

Overall, the draft law aims to address key issues facing the agricultural sector in France, such as generational renewal, climate change adaptation, and regulatory simplification. While some agricultural unions have expressed support for the bill, others have raised concerns about its lack of ambition and impact on food sovereignty. As

By Aiden Johnson

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