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By Rural Platform
With the approval of AGENDA 2000, a model of agriculture is being supported: Antisocial, Unsustainable and unproductive, Unjust, Antiecological, Antisolidarity and Antirrural.
It is a reality that half of the budget of the European Union is destined to the Community Agricultural Policy (CAP). The RURAL PLATFORM (an alliance that coordinates farmers, environmentalists, consumers, social movements, NGOs), considers that the open debate around AGENDA 2000 is an opportunity for European citizens to ask themselves where these are going to end up. 50 out of every hundred pesetas and what social, economic and environmental impacts they have on the territory of the Union. The AGENDA 2000 approved at the Berlin Summit consolidates the agricultural policy model practiced in the European Community in the last 37 years. The small budgetary modifications, the increase or decrease of production quotas by sectors and countries, and the systematic decrease in prices paid to the producer, are part of the readjustment that the Common Agricultural Policy must carry out based on a global market dominated by a few food transnationals that, through the World Trade Organization (WTO), impose rules on international trade that are favorable only to their interests. With the approval of AGENDA 2000, a model of agriculture is being supported:
Antisocial: because it permanently expels peasants who cannot enter the dynamics of competitiveness; because it exchanges people for technologies, ruining thousands of peasant families that live in the towns and everything that they represent socially, economically and environmentally. Thus, in the last 14 years, 1,000,000 farmers have disappeared in our field.
Unsustainable and unproductive: because it consumes more energy than that produced, because it requires a continuous increase in production (productivism) in some agricultural territories, while others are abandoned as a result of their impoverishment or desertification.
Unfair: because it concentrates large sums of money in very few hands. According to the opinion of the European Court of Auditors, 4% of the recipients of aid to accompany the income of agricultural owners (not farmers) receive 40% of them, which in the Spanish State comes to suppose a sum of more than 360,000 million pesetas in the hands of speculators and not of professionals of the field.
Anti-ecological: because its scientific base seeks unlimited productivism, which through agricultural practices with chemical systems and without respecting natural processes, pollute the land, water, atmosphere and food we consume.
Anti-solidarity: because it is produced according to the perverse rules of the global market, putting export before local consumption and the food sovereignty of the populations; because it encourages monoculture above food diversity, with all the negative consequences that this has for peripheral countries, preventing the food security of their peoples, especially the poorest sectors.
Antirrural: Because by reducing the agricultural workforce, the towns are left emptier and with an older population, decreasing the quality and quantity of the human resources that inhabit them and each time with less capacity to be able to maintain and manage a territory so necessary for all and all. During the second half of the century, 1,131 municipalities have disappeared and 10,000,000 Spaniards changed their residence, the majority of rural origin.
This is the reason why the RURAL PLATFORM has launched a campaign to support a form of agrarian policy that ensures the right to healthy food for everyone and the maintenance of family farms as the best way to sustain a living rural environment, a different concept of agriculture and being a farmer, a different concept of consumption (local, quality, seasonal, ethical and healthy), and a different concept of the rural environment -as space and heritage of society in its set - and the market - not as a space to speculate with food, but as an instrument to exchange it, ensuring a fair and equitable distribution.
In order to achieve these objectives, the RURAL PLATFORM proposes that citizens of Europe demand that their economic contribution to the budgets of the European Union for Community Agricultural Policy (50 pesetas out of 100) have an impact on agricultural and rural employment , in the quality of food, in respect for the environment and in a population recovery of small rural areas.
These changes in the budgetary concepts of the European Union include supporting the transition from industrial and conventional agriculture to sustainable, organic and ecological agriculture; as well as the promotion of rural development initiatives and the creation and maintenance of basic services in our towns (schools, health centers, transport, postmen).
The Platform requires that the 360,000 million pesetas that the Spanish State receives from the European Union to support landowners for speculative purposes be allocated 50% to the promotion of durable, organic and ecological agriculture, thus facilitating maintenance of peasants and family farming, and the other 50% is dedicated to promoting rural development programs and improving infrastructure and services in our towns. They also demand that the incentives given from the European Union to perverse policies for the export of food products, be transformed into support for peasants in impoverished countries so that they can maintain and enhance their own production and food distribution systems. .
* Rural Platform
Navas de Tolosa, 3 - 4º. Madrid
Telephone: 609 47 24 61 - Fax: 91 521 66 68
E-mail: [email protected]