The French Government has launched a plan to promote autonomy in the agricultural sector given the increase in dependence on food imports. In this way, the French country hopes to recover the “sovereignty” lost in this field with an aid package, but also with the will not to impose more regulations than in other European countries.
The Minister of Agriculture Marc Fesneau explained this Friday that this dependence on purchases abroad is partly explained because there are more regulations than in other countries.
Low competitiveness due to very restrictive domestic rules
“Let’s not make more rules,” the minister stressed in an interview with the Sud Radio station, in which he explained that very often France establishes a series of restrictive internal rules, for example on the use of pesticides, and then I pretend that are adopted by the European Union. “Let’s try not to be arrogant and not to impose a rule that our neighbors don’t want,” he said.
The plan for fruit and vegetables will have a package of 200 million euros of public money every year for ten, to which another 200 million contributed by the sector will be added. France now imports more than 60% of the fruit that is consumed and around 40% of the vegetables, when in the year 2000 these percentages were around 45% and 30%.
According to the head of the Interfel fruit and vegetable sector organization, Laurent Grandin, “if nothing is done, in ten years we will not cover more than 35% of our needs. To correct this trend, the Executive wants to stimulate production, for example developing crops in greenhouses.
They will invest in cultivating in greenhouses
In the words of his Minister of Agriculture, “there is no reason that we have ten times less than the Spanish.” 50 million euros of the total package will be dedicated to this event. Another 50 million will go to the renewal and replanting of fruit trees, with special emphasis on resistances resistant to adverse weather conditions and that consume less water. 50 million are also foreseen for purchases of agricultural equipment that will reduce the use of pesticides.
Beyond the case of fruit and vegetables, Fesneau referred to imports of chicken meat, which represent about what is consumed in France. He explained that French production works well in the high-quality niche, but “in entry-level products, we have a competitiveness problem.” “We need – he added – to have high-end, mid-range and entry-level products.”