From Papa’s farm to big agro business

Champagne region, Sunday Mai 11th

As I said in my previous posting, Papa’s farm is dying. But what is coming to replace it? As we ride across the Champagne region, we are leaving the green small fields with cattle and multiculture to meet with big agribusiness: my American friends feel home on the endless plains covered by oceans of wheat. Here no hedgerows to bother powerful tractors and all kinds of computerised machines. Decisions are made in the offices of the EuropeanCommission in Brussels and in the trading agencies in Chicago or London
. There is no doubt that we need a high productivity to feed the growing urban populations. There is no doubt that mechanisation and capital are the two mammals of modern agriculture.
Yet at the same time the demand for a better quality of food is growing and bio markets are successful.
Are we going to find a balance between these two contradictory trends? Riding across the deserted villages of the Champagne region shows that life is leaving these rich and ultra mechanised regions. They are simply empty. One farmer alone can with ultra sophisticated tractors tender to a thousand hectares . There is no job and no future here .

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