New European agricultural plans for the future
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Commission has recently presented two very interesting policy papers. These new Communications are:
- A Farm to Fork Strategy
- EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
Both these policy statements are closely connected to the EU Green Deal. According to the EU Green Deal, the EU will establish itself as a CO2 neutral continent by 2050. Several societal sectors will collaborate to reach this objective including the EU agricultural sector.
According to the Farm to Fork strategy, the European Commission states a number of key priorities. These include:
- reduced dependency on pesticides and antimicrobials,
- reduce excess fertilisation,
- improve animal welfare
- reverse biodiversity loss
The EC aims to substantially reduce Green House Gas emissions by 50% compared to 1990 levels. In fact, the EU objective is that the agricultural sector will become CO2 neutral, or even will help reduce CO2 emissions from other industrial sectors.
In addition, the EC aims to achieve the climate goals without jeopardizing food security and food availability.
The Commission will come forward by September 2020 with a 2030 climate target plan, to increase the GHG emission reduction target towards 50 or 55% compared with 1990 levels. New European agricultural plans for the future are also in progress. The Farm to Fork Strategy lays down a new approach to ensure that agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and the food value chain contribute appropriately to this process.
To achieve the transition towards a climate friendly agriculture, the EC will support a new business mode, where farmers and foresters contribute towards sequestration of CO2 and achieve climate neutrality. According to the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EC will certify CO2 removal.
In addition, the aims to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 2030. This will also reverse the decline pollinators, which are vital for agriculture and other habitats. The European Commission aims to restore at least 10% of the agricultural land back to non-agricultural purposes and to plant 30 billion trees across Europe. These objectives need to be achieved without jeopardizing food production.
Taken together, these are very challenging objectives, and it is also important to note that the timeframe is rather short. The EC aim to accomplish these objectives already by 2030. New European agricultural plans for the future are indeed very challenging.
To reach these objectives, new efficient strategies need to be implemented by farmers and animal producers. In addition, there is an urgent need to develop new products to replace the old, long lived chemical pesticides which accumulate in the environment and pose a threat to insects, animals and humans. Basically, a new generation of compounds are required that are safe, efficient and do not pose a threat to the environment.
The European Commission will support this transition through additional research. Through the different research funding schemes available, such as the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation scheme, the EC will support the development of new products and services for the agricultural sector.
Clearly, there are major challenges ahead, but the possibilities and benefits are very large.
More information will be available after the summer and Fenix Scientific will follow the development in this area.
Ingemar Pongratz is a researcher entrepreneur. Ingemar Pongratz established Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. Through Pongratz Consulting, we support universities and organizations apply for European funding.
Ingemar Pongratz has also established Letavis AB. We develop new products for the agricultural sector. Our solutions are based on research and display both high efficiency and high safety.
Please contact Ingemar Pongratz if you are curious about our services, either through the Online Contact Form or by email.
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