Agriculture MEPs: The EU must become food independent

Agriculture MEPs: The EU must become food independent

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The EU needs a plan to ensure food security, calls the Agriculture Committee in a new report adopted on Tuesday.

In the draft resolution on “Ensuring food security and long term resilience of the EU agriculture”, adopted by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on Tuesday by 39 votes to 8 and 0 abstentions, MEPs say that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine exposed structural problems in the European agriculture sector and call for the strengthening of food security and strategic autonomy of the EU.

Holistic approach and immediate financing

The Commission should present a holistic strategic plan to ensure food security for the EU, including the use of strategic food stocks, request Agriculture MEPs. An EU protein and feed strategy should be a part of this plan so that farmers become less dependent on imports from third countries, add MEPs. Meanwhile, temporary EU measures to support farmers adopted in the light of the war in Ukraine should be maintained if the Russian invasion continues.

New technologies in agriculture

MEPs advocate for the use of new breeding techniques making crops more resilient thus reducing the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. The access of small scale farmers to digital technologies and precision crop management should be financially supported. The modernisation of irrigation facilities and the promotion of new water management infrastructure should be supported by a specific EU programme, reads the report.

Food waste and reciprocity in trade

Around one third of food worldwide is wasted, warn the MEPs and call for campaigns against food waste, national food prevention programmes and the cooperation of supermarkets with food banks. Food waste could be also reduced by investments in infrastructure for more sustainable transport and storage facilities of farm products, proposes the Agriculture Committee.

The report calls for food and agricultural products to be granted a dedicated chapter in trade agreements so that reciprocity is guaranteed between European and third-country producers.

After the vote, rapporteur Marlene Mortler (EPP, DE) said: “In Europe, we must rely more on ourselves again and reduce dependencies on third countries. The objectives of the Green Deal must be implemented in such a way that food security is not compromised and that sustainability is ensured in environmental, economic and social terms. I therefore call on the Commission in my report to ensure that our farmers will continue to be able to produce and supply high-quality agricultural products.”

The draft resolution will be now put to a plenary vote, possibly during the 12 – 15 June session.


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