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Wednesday, 28 October 2009

EU urged to link food and environmental security

The EU should make payment of farm subsidies conditional on delivering good soil and water quality and encouraging farmers to diversify their output to include fuel and fibre products. The reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should consider food and environmental security together, argued Thierry de l'Escaille, secretary-general of the European Landowners Organisation. Speaking on Europe's role in world food security, de l'Escaille said CAP subsidies are necessary, but should be used as an incentive for farmers to deliver public goods, such as quality soil, water and air. He also argued that a combined food and environmental security policy would help justify the CAP and its budget to the public at large. The debate took place in the European Parliament, with the support of agri-business firm Syngenta. Maive Rute, director of the European Commission's research department, argued that "food security is not a poverty issue, but a knowledge and supply issue" and that more needs to be done to help farmers access technology and become more productive.

Source: EurActiv