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The profession of a farmer is a job that is varied.
Indeed it can either work the land, care for a farm, but also accounting management and administration of the farm is part of the farmer's daily duties. It's all these different spots that attracted me in to this business. In fact I love nature, walking through the fields and seeing how this develops around us. And what I like in agriculture is that it is thanks to them it if that the world lives and thrives. The Farming no longer occupies today only 3.3% of the total labor force (against 5.3% for the entire European Union). In less than a century, the agricultural sector has lost most of its forces, left to work in other sectors of the economy. In 1900, half the French still worked in agriculture. During the 20th century, the number of farmers has had been divided by ten, from over 5 million to 550,000. The acceleration of technical progress in all areas (mechanization, mechanization of labor, crops, livestock …) has made possible this rural exodus. Farmers Could produce more with less manpower. Since the early 2000s, the agricultural workforce continues to decline at a rate of about 10,000 per year. With nearly 30,000 departures of farmers each year, 17,000 installations, renewal of generations is not assured. Not only do these factors lead to reduces reduction of the agricultural population, but is aging also plays a part. Of the 436,000 professional operators (those who make it their main business), 18% are over 55 years and over half are aged 40 to 55 years. They are 30% to be under 40 years. Signs of aging, there are fewer young farmers. By operators under 35 years is decreasing; 18% in 2000, it dropped to 13%. Being a farmer, of course, is to cultivate the land to produce cereals, vegetables, fruit and all kinds of plants for food, or raising animals to produce meat or milk. Historically, this trade would be one of the first that appeared on earth, after hunting and gathering. The tractor engine is the basis of a farm. The power of a modern tractor ranges between 70 and 380 hp, the average power of new tractors sold in France at around 125 hp. The average weight of a tractor is 45 kg / hp. He It worked nearly 800 hours per year on average. On a classic farm classic, it is common to find at least four tractors: a machine called a "head" whose power reaches 140 hp and livestock may exceed 200 hp in field crops. This tractor is for heavy work (plowing, unpacking …). He It is assisted by a lighter tractor lighter 100 to 130 hp whose function is to perform jobs requiring less power as treatments, fertilization and transportation. Finally, one or two tractors older than ten years and a power of 80 to 100 hp in the park. They are assigned to routine work in farmyards, to feed the herd or the maintenance of the irrigation network. The grain fields are ubiquitous in the French countryside. In 2009, grain covered 9.2 million hectares, with production of 70 million tonnes. The bulk of production is concentrated on four species: wheat, grain maize, barley and durum wheat. But ten cereal varieties are grown in France. First policy developed by the European Economic Community (EEC), the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was a powerful instrument of European unification. It remains the major common policy and absorbs in 2008, 43% of the budget.
Contained in the 1957 Treaty of Rome (March 25, 1957), the CAP has been set up in 1962 and reflects, at that time, the need to increase food production in a Europe devastated by years of war. Very quickly, the CAP achieved the objectives assigned to it: to increase agricultural productivity, stabilize markets and ensure food security at reasonable prices for consumers.
However, the imbalances are rapidly emerged and have become more pronounced over time. The Pac was faced with multiple problems: surplus, higher spending markets, persistent disparities between European agriculture … Critics have also come from outside: market liberalization through the GATT negotiations (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), globalization of trade, deregulation …
The first reforms
From the mid-1980s, the common price policy is guaranteed seat in the reforms:
- 1984: milk quotas and the adoption of the principle of budgetary discipline that limits growth of agricultural expenditure.
- 1988: The European Council takes action on several major productions: the introduction of outriggers, implementation of fiscal discipline, reform of structural policy (doubling of aid in favor of farms and areas most disabled).
But these reforms are proving ineffective. Accumulate stocks to record levels. Budget expenditures are growing. At the same time, farm income has increased steadily since 1973 and the disparity of farms is increasing. The number of agricultural workers has been declining steadily due to productivity gains. During the 1990s, the CAP has two major reforms that make it a challenge for our society.
Preparing the 1992 conclusion of the round "Uruguay Round" in GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) with the passage of a system essentially based on a price to income support for farmers based on both on prices and direct subsidies: significant reduction in support prices, particularly in the grain sector. Now, direct aid is paid as compensation for lower prices. Also, did the set-aside requirement to qualify for compensatory aid.
This reform was also accompanied by structural measures: encouragement by bounties to environmental protection, aid for afforestation, early retirement …
In 1999, the financial outlook of the European Union (EU) are is set for the years 2000-2006. The Pac is directly concerned. Its budget is frozen until 2013. This is the "Agenda 2000". He It anticipates the new EU enlargement and the increased demands on rural development and environmental protection. This is just one step towards a deeper change in policy. Indeed, what should have been a mid-term review of Agenda 2000 is running in heavy operation in 2003 (application 2005-2006). To improve the competitiveness of European agriculture, the Commission proposes further liberalization of agricultural markets, a better distribution of support among sectors and regions (decoupling aid from production), a shift towards rural aid development Rural (modulation) and finally an allocation of aid conditional on good agricultural practices (compliance).
At the end of 2008 (application 2009-2010), the Health Check of the CAP accentuates this trend. The dismantling of market management tools is accelerating. Modulation flies (10% in 2013). The Pac should pay for new challenges (climate change, renewable energies, water management, biodiversity).
France, which had applied the previous reform "a minimum" must amplify the decoupling of production subsidies and rebalance the territory.
February 23, 2009, Michel Barnier, Minister of Agriculture, presented the French implementation of the Health Check of the CAP. The redirection of aid, he wants "ambitious and reasonable", has four objectives: maintain employment in the territory, to support the production of grass and modes of sustainable development and improve climate risk management and health.
In France, from 2010, nearly 1.4 billion euros, 18% of direct payments (coupled and decoupled), will be reassigned to other bases as individual historical references and a vast majority of subsidies will be decoupled: 100% of aid Cop (cereals and oilseeds, of which 25% are still coupled), premiums for ewes (50% are still coupled) and slaughter premiums (cattle and calves of which 40% are still coupled) . Finally, the PMTVA (premium for maintaining suckler cows) will be decoupled to 25%.
Four sectors will benefit from this new distribution of aid: the surfaces implanted in grass production called fragile (mountain milk, calves before weaning, LFA (compensation NHP), sheep and goats, durum wheat in traditional areas, fields full of vegetables and potatoes), said sustainable production (farming, vegetable proteins and new challenges) and the health fund and crop insurance.
The CAP after 2013
Next deadline: 2011. The European Union must stop the next budget of the CAP. Even if one can say that the global economic crisis has saved the CAP, the pressures on the agricultural budget remain strong. Other areas such as research or innovation would capture a slice of the pie. This decision will determine the future of the CAP after 2013. With the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty (expected in late 2009), which modifies the organization of the European institutions, the future of the CAP will not depend only on the European Commission. The European Parliament will come to a "co-decision" on the budget and direction of the Pac.