“How can we not understand the anger of the agricultural world?” : the proposals of Christians in rural areas to break the impasse

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The Chrétiens en monde rural association published a press release on February 1 on the crisis currently experiencing the agricultural world. A text which analyzes the causes of farmers' anger and proposes concrete solutions to break the impasse.

“An agricultural model running out of steam”, this is the title of a press release published on February 1 by the Chrétiens en monde rural (CMR) association. Faced with the anger of farmers, the association "strongly anchored in rural areas" and which counts "many farmers among its members" analyzes the contours of this crisis and proposes solutions. 

1 suicide per day

The CMR begins by discussing the difficult situation that many agricultural workers experience today: inequalities, growing uncertainties, precariousness, despair, debts and even loss of meaning. A profession also marked by a “growing number of suicides” recalls the organization, “we are talking about 1 per day”, she emphasizes. 

In this context "how can we not understand the anger of the agricultural world which is rising today in France and in other European countries?", continues the association. 

The document also offers an analysis of the root causes of these problems: an “economic system, based on free trade agreements and their capacity to export all over the world, which impoverishes and weakens women and men in France and elsewhere. beyond", "an appropriation, even a privatization for the benefit of a few, of the universal common goods of land and water" or even "an ever-increasing commodification of agriculture" in a context marked by global warming “which requires inevitable and urgent adaptation” from farmers. 

Common good

The CMR writes that it wants to be a "force of proposal" in order to "build together an ethic for an agricultural and rural culture, concerned with satisfying food needs in all territories, with management of the living environment for the good of humanity, in respect for the common good, its wealth and diversity and respect for the dignity of people.

The organization also mentions the responsibility of consumers as well as that of agricultural structures and public authorities.

She then proposes five concrete avenues of action, starting with the reduction of the "overly burdensome administrative burden", proposing that agricultural workers "define their own specifications with measures adapted to their farm". Then comes the stabilization of income by ensuring compliance with the Egalim law. 

"We talked about income insurance but what is the situation to date? There is an Egalim law that the government does not enforce, there is unfair competition with imports of foodstuffs produced in conditions that are not authorized in France. 

The CMR also proposes the reduction of imports, the adaptation of the pension system for farmers, a redefinition of the place and the role of "agro-supplies and agri-food" as well as encouraging "the autonomy of systems production” and “support for the ecological transition and short circuits”. 

"As citizens, but also as Christians, how can we not let ourselves be challenged by the Gospel, how can we not respond to the call of Pope Francis who asks us to take care of 'our common home', to take care of women and men who live there!”, concludes the organization, reaffirming “its support for peasants, in their diversity”. 

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexandros Michailidis

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