Comprendre les enjeux de l'agriculture

The British government recently put before parliament a draft agriculture bill the main thrusts of which were explained by Theresa Villiers, secretary of state for agriculture, at the Oxford Farming Conference. The bill states that current direct subsidies will be phased out gradually over a seven-year period. The savings will be redistributed to farmers in return for implementing climate- and environmentally-friendly measures. According to the secretary of state, the new policy will be guided by the principle of public money for public goods. This means that income aid will disappear from the new subsidies to be rolled out. The minister does not fear this will lead to a wave of farm sales. She believes these grants are a new opportunity for agriculture, in disadvantaged areas in particular. The State should no longer intervene in markets, except in times of crisis.