The Occitan Nation Party and the agriculture crisis
A serious agriculture crisis is affecting pig and cattle breeders in the French State ; at the same time, independent poultry farmers, who are numerous in Occitania, are the victims of measures taken against bird flu.
The Occitan Nation Party denounces the European Commission, the successive French governments and the FNSEA (France's leading farmers' union) which are to blame for the crises. Their choices favour big cereal growers of the Paris basin, major groups of the agrifood industry and of large retail outlets, at the cost of rural depopulation.
These choices are :
· The unceasing enlargement of farms in the hope of hypothetical economies of scale,
· A « production-oriented » agriculture, that turns many farmers into « salaried » workers of the agrifood industry,
· « Intensive » monoculture and mono-breeding, or even «without a grazing area», whose sanitary and environmental consequences are disastrous,
· Low-cost productions for export even though a local quality agriculture would be beneficial to farmers and consumers, especially in Occitania,
· The abandonment of agriculture in areas where this intensive and production-oriented model cannot work, especially in the mountains.
The Occitan Nation Partydemands that, instead of pretending to compete with low-cost countries, public authorities should favour local quality products. In particular, they should implement or encourage :
· Social and fiscal harmonisation in the EU, which is necessary for competition to be « undistorted »,
· Organic and « sustainable » agriculture,
· Less water-intensive crops, like sorghum to replace maize,
· The breeding of indigenous animal breeds, that are more suited to their environment,
· the production of quality milk and its direct transformation by breeders,
· sheep and goat farming in areas where it is traditional.
Independent poultry farmers who practise quality farming should not be the victims of a « fallowing of farms » ordered by the government which has little impact on the agrifood industry.
The Occitan Nation Party demands stronger powers for Occitan regions, in particular in the field of agriculture, so that they can act in the interest of Occitan farmers. Their interests are different from those of the farmers in the North of France.
10 rue de Romas
F-47000 Agen, Occitania (France)
00 33 6 76 47 32 12