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Threat of Land Intensification and Abandonment

11 March 2010

EU - Confirming the need for a strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a new EU Commission study reveals that a cut in EU farmers direct payments under the CAP would result in intensification of land use in some areas of the EU and cause vast areas of land to go to waste in others.

Speaking in Brussels, Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen warned “The Commissions’ Scenar 2020-II study confirms our worst fears. The study states that if payments were reduced, there would be, on the one hand, intensification of land use in the core production areas as farmers would need to earn a decent standard of living.

"On the other hand, there would be land abandonment in the marginal production areas, as it would become unprofitable to produce in these areas. In the less competitive regions, land abandonment would be accompanied by environmental decline. There would also be a huge drop in the number of farms in the EU, falling from 11 million in 2003 to just seven million in 2020, hitting in particular cattlerelated production, the study shows”.

“A strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which maintains direct payments to farmers, is consequently vital in the future, in order to maintain a competitive, sustainable agriculture and to prevent large areas of land from going to ruin. In view of growing world food demand, a strong CAP in the period post-2013 is also more important than ever ,” he added.

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