The French Ministry of Agriculture celebrated the growing positive reputation of agroecology in France.
In January 2017, 83% of farmers said that they had heard about agroecology, against 79% in 2016 and only 50% in 2015. Additionally, 73% of farmers have already engaged in at least three agroecology procedures, this figure increasing to an impressive 83% among young farmers. This shows that agroecology, due to the increase in economic performance that it allows, and proving the reality of double performance (environmental and economic), has become an underlying trend in French agriculture.
Additionally, 92% of farmers say that they have already implemented at least one agroecological step in their farms. For example, 73% report having already limited the use of phytopharmaceutical products like pesticides, 71% have worked to improve soil quality or limited erosion, and 62% say that they have helped to preserve water resources.
The Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, also saluted the operational implementation of recently initiated agroecological measures during the most recent meeting of the National Operational and Monitoring Committee for Agroecology. Of particular note was the implementation of an Agri-environment-climate payment dedicated to soil conservation and work already in progress on defining monitoring indicators for organic and biological quality of agricultural soils.
Another new program that emphasizes the value of agroecology was the signature of a new three-year agreement with the National Federation of Regional Natural Parks that will help farmers in these areas transition to agroecology. Finally, Le Foll noted the success of the first Night of Agroecology that took place last summer and will take place again this year in France in June.