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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The CAP: Wiser, though controversial

In light of the 50th anniversary of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a recent article published by Capreform, a blog that brings together the views and analyses of researchers, activists and analysts on the CAP, conducts an overview. Although Alan Matthews, author of this piece, recognises some benefits of the CAP, he also states “[b]ut these benefits were bought at a very high price […] It distorted the global trading system to the detriment of developing countries”.
On a positive note, Matthews says that “[it] helped to stabilise farm prices for EU farmers over the past 50 years and by reducing risk it encouraged farmers to make the investments which contributed to the modernisation of European agriculture over that period […] And yes, more recently, the CAP has begun to take responsibility for paying farmers for the public goods which are otherwise neglected in production-oriented agriculture”.
Nevertheless, the author stresses that the CAP, in addition to having provoked adverse effects in developing countries, “[has] prevented resources from moving into more productive sectors” as the protection to European agricultural production is considerably high.