EU remains bullish on its agriculture sector

The European Union, faced with the prospect of having to lower imports barriers, said Tuesday it would invest more in research and education to get its farmers to grow more varied and better quality produce. The EU agriculture ministers ended two days of talks, saying the current round of world trade talks would force Europe to take in more imports from low-cost producers.

That does not need to be a death knell for EU farmers, if they can focus more on high-quality produce for emerging middle classes in Asia and the Americas , said Austrian Agriculture Minister Josef Proell, who chaired the meeting. He said the EU farm ministers had agreed to raise investments in agricultural research in future years to improve the EU's future export position. Today, just over 10 million people work in EU agriculture and more than 40 percent of the area of the 25-nation bloc is used for farming.

The EU is implementing far-reaching reforms. Production subsidies have been replaced by income support payments that are linked to environmental standards designed to preserve Europe 's countryside. The agriculture ministers said a new focus on research should lead to new crop types and farming methods and lead the EU to producing more biomass fuels.

"The future of European agriculture looks good," EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said. She said it would see fewer farmers and larger holdings, but dispelled the notion of an U.S.-style farm sector that has led to an exodus from many rural areas.

"I do not see the small farming communities (in Europe ) disappearing," Fischer Boel said. While bullish on the future of their farming sector, the EU ministers reiterated that it was up to the United States to rescue the troubled world-trade talks by matching its offers of farm spending cuts, reports the AP.


Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team