Alarm over creeping ‘financialization’ and fragmentation of French farmland


Access to ownership or rental of agricultural land for French farmers setting up an activity is proving increasingly difficult, in part because of the rising prices fuelled by private and agribusiness investors in mega-farms, and also because of the increasing fragmentation of smallholdings, according to two reports published this week. Both call for the swift introduction of measures to reverse a trend that threatens a profound change in French agriculture. Amélie Poinssot reports.

The environmentalists fighting French farmers' giant water basins

France — Link

While there are hundreds of thousands of water reservoirs used by farmers across France, what has prompted angry protests by environmentalist activists, dismised as 'eco-terrorists' by France's interior minister, is the size of the latest ones and the source of the water they collect.

France raises aid fund for farmers after harsh frost wipes out crops

France — Link

France's aid fund for agricultural catastrophes is to be increased, Prime Minister Jean Casteix has announced, after continuing severe nationwide frosts that followed exceptionally mild weather have wiped out many crops in the bud, especially fruit and including vast amounts of grapes in winegrowing regions.

European elections: where the French parties stand on defence and agricultural policies

International — Analysis

The new European Parliament elected after final voting on Sunday will produce cross-national political groups, formed from alliances between the party candidates elected in each country. The parties standing in France, which has the second-highest number of seats in the parliament, will play an important part in establishing the political formations, which will have a key role in shaping future European legislation and the appointments to the key EU posts. So where do they stand on two issues that have been largely absent from the campaigning but which promise to occupy a central place in parliament’s future debates, namely European defence policy and the future of a common agricultural policy? François Bonnet and Christophe Gueugneau report.

French farmers' union voices fears over 'hard Bexit'

International — Link

French farmers' union, the FNSEA, has voiced its concern at the possibility of a withdrawal from the EU by the UK, to which France exports a yearly 3 billion euros-worth of agricultural goods, without a trade deal.

French PM calls on Brussels to increase support for farmers

International — Link

Amid increasing protests by French farmers Manuel Valls says EU has 'done too little, too late' in response to downturn in agricultural markets.

France Poised to Beat U.S. in Wheat Exports After Drought

International — Link

U.S. farmers set to lose their advantage over French growers in export markets after worst Midwest drought in more than a decade.

The French farmers fighting the deadly pesticide taboo

France — Report

Last month, French cereal farmer Paul François, 47, won a lengthy legal battle against US biotech giant Monsanto in a landmark ruling by a court in Lyon that could open a floodgate of complaints by farmers for chemical poisoning. François was found to have become severely handicapped as a direct result of his contamination by Lasso, a powerful herbicide produced by Monsanto. France is Europe’s biggest user, by volume, of pesticides, and worldwide only India and the United States use more. For François and other campaigners seeking to alert farmers to the dangers of chemical-based phytosanitary products, their battle targets not only the clout of the industrial lobby and a reluctance of the medical profession to recognise the illnesses caused by pesticides, but also a silent taboo among the farming community itself. Claire Le Nestour reports.

EU farm policy debate pits France against UK

International — Link

European Union proposals on future agricultural spending set to trigger year-long debate among the bloc's 27 member states over subsidies.