PhD student of the Department of International and European Law
National University «Odessa Law Academy»
Keywords: agriculture; nutrition; food policy; innovations; FAO; CAP.
Rural development is recognized as a priority idea of the European Union Common Agricultural Policy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of «Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere» and «Ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture» by 2030.
The EU’s diversified approach is aimed at creating favorable production factors including skilled labor, resources, developed logistics and infrastructure, advanced research and innovation, and Good agricultural and environmental conditions set by Regulation No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy.
The aim of the article is to analyze and correlate measures provided by European authorities to improve sustainability of agriculture. Nowadays the structure of production and agriculture should be highly diversified. It will allow the sector to respond to various market and consumer demands. A single market with a large and relatively rich domestic consumer base and expansion into foreign markets should be associated with population and income growth. The current food system is vulnerable due to underinvestment and lack of economic opportunities. But food policy solves not only problems of developing production, foreign trade, storage and processing, but also the equitable distribution of basic food products, as well as the development of rural areas.
The focus of political attention has shifted from rural areas where the world's extreme poor live. The global rural poverty rate in rural areas is more than 17 percent comparing to the urban poverty level of 7 percent. Agriculture is the world's largest employer and the largest branch of the economy in many countries. However, conflict and instability, combined with extreme climatic conditions force people to leave their homes, farms, and workplaces. Despite all these factors, family farmers produce about 80 percent of the world's food supply. It should be highlighted that now it is impossible to separately consider food, livelihoods and natural resource management .
A common approach of supporting agriculture provides fair conditions for EU farmers competing in the domestic European market and in the global market. Policy measures and programs aimed at improving livelihoods and external resilience, providing fair conditions for farmers competing in the domestic European market and in the global market and taking into account the interests of rural women, indigenous peoples and youth, are crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in most countries.
A number of efforts were realized thanked to effective global policy. The European Union Common Agricultural Policy, established in 1962, can be described as a bridge between agriculture and society, as well as between Europe and its farmers. It is managed by The Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI). In total, the 34.5 percent of the 2020 EU budget was allocated to Common Agricultural Policy. It aims to support farmers and increase agricultural productivity, help tackle climate change and sustainable natural resource management and support rural economies and innovative technologies.
On June 1, 2018, the European Commission submitted a formal proposal for a revision of the CAP starting from 2021. It is going be the fifth reform of the CAP after the previous reforms in 1992, 1999, 2003 and 2013.
At EU level, the Commission has identified nine key goals as a basis of future strategic plans that can be divided into several groups. The first group of aims are focused on improving the conditions of farmers by ensuring a fair income, strengthening cooperation between farmers, enhancing social integration, attracting young farmers and promoting local development, employment growth and business development in rural areas. The second one is connected with economic characteristics as increasing the competitiveness and market transparency and providing effective mechanisms against unfair trading practices. Other group of goals deal with environmental challenges in taking measures to improve the ecological condition of the area, contributing to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to them, preserving landscapes and biodiversity, helping to protect biodiversity and expanding ecosystem services. The last group set requirements for the food quality protection as food must be properly processed, stored and preserved, it should be stable available both in terms of physical availability and in terms of purchasing power parity .
In order to reach these tasks, The European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), set up by the European Commission (DG AGRI) in 2008, and its two support units the ENRD Contact Point and the European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development help Member States to implement Rural Development Programs (RDPs) effectively by sharing knowledge and experience amongst European countries. It promotes information exchange concerning practical realization of rural development policies, programs, projects and other initiatives as well as ways they can be improved.
Farmers face lots of difficulties when it comes to implementation of innovations. That is why The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) was launched in 2012 in the framework of The Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative «Innovation Union». It is mostly concentrated on networking activities setting partner relationship between farmers, advisors, researchers, businesses, NGOs, etc.
The introduction and use of innovation is complicated due to a number of factors. Agriculture is very affected by climate change and at the same time lead to climate change as well. The CAP contains a number of provisions for mitigating climate change and protecting the environment, such as mandatory standards of «mutual conformity» for maintaining land in good agricultural and ecological conditions.
Particular attention is paid to measures to combat climate change, since the prolonged extreme droughts in Europe has caused serious problems for the EU agricultural sector and tackle the question of food availability. The policy approach is more focused on reducing and preventing risks. According to The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Communication Post 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action: Managing risks to achieve resilience Improving risk management in all sectors, the quality of information and early warning systems strengthen the capacity of agricultural institutions and increase investment and resilience to external influences, promote capacity development, enhance abilities for response and recovery. In India such measures as building climate-predictive data-driven models, solutions for resource conservation and reducing carbon footprints are implemeting to address climate risks.
EU agricultural systems exacerbate climate change and systematically cause damage to ecosystems they rely upon. Sustainable food production requires access to land, healthy soils and clean water at the same time. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) established in 1974, endorsed the most significant instruments in this field such as The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security known as the VGGT on 11 May 2012, the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems on October 15th, 2014, the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises (FFA) on 13 October, 2015. It allowed to make restoration of degraded agricultural lands a
At the same time about 66 percent of renewable water resources in Europe go to agriculture, in some regions it increases to 80 percent of which 15–35 percent are unsustainable. The policy approach should be based on theprinciple of sustainable development that implies the use of resources at a pace that does not exceed the ability of the earth to restore them.
Therefore, it is important to reunite the different policies affecting these resources and ensure that they are reinforced by the common and consistent goals of sustainable land, soil and water management - as was concluded in the basic assessment of soil protection tools commissioned by The European Commission department – The Directorate-General for Environment. It is responsible for the environmental policy and guarantee the correct implementation of the environmental legislation.
To increase resistance to dry regions of North Africa and the Middle East, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partner corporations launched a construction of wastewater treatment plants and the creation of schemes for the use of irrigation to fertilize soils in these countries. It allowed to ensure safe, environmentally sound and economical water treatment technologies in various cities of Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
Also the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management promote transparent and efficient land use. The Green Public Procurement Scheme (GPP) according to Directive 2014/24 / EU Directive 2014/24 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of February 26, 2014 on public procurement introduced in the Communication (COM (2008) 400) "Public procurement for a better environment" promote to develop green technologies and products and reduce negative impact on environment.
Particular attention should be paid to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture and food production. In its turn The European Commission has reviewed Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, Council Directive of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (91/676/EEC) and Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe.
In rural areas, the majority of food losses occur in the field or due to inadequate collection, transportation, packaging, storage, and generally underdeveloped infrastructure. A number of countries as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Timor-Leste and Sri Lanka suffer high post-harvest losses. FAO carried out pilot projects to implement effective practices in the field of post-harvest management in order reduce losses in traditional food supply chains. One example relates to FAO project where simple grain-tight storage tanks were provided to grain producers in Afghanistan.
The use of information and communication technologies allow to make better decisions about timely deliveries to markets, eliminating or at least reducing seasonal overstock. Increased investment in agricultural reasearch is key to increasing agricultural productivity. Due to a reform, farmers are provided with compensations for applying sustainable environmental sound practices, and young farmers are given financial incentives to attract and retain them in agriculture. Low yields are partly a technological problem in the pure sense: unexplored and unimproved tropical crops have low yields and are not resistant to drought and floods.
Although reasonable experiments are encouraged. For instance, a traditional Chinese method for the simultaneous cultivation of rice and fish farming was successfully adapted in Nigeria with the assistance of the Unilateral Trust Fund.
Increasing amount of farm and non-farm rural workplaces, attracting youth, supporting family farming, encouraging local shops, strengthening market relations with urban areas, energy and other infrastructure lead to better living conditions and achieving 3% annual agricultural growth and increase both average labor productivity and average income of farmers.
Launched in 2014, the Nigeria Youth Employment Agenda aimed to create decent jobs and innovative entrepreneurship for young people. In 2014 as well the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods put forward measures increasing the resilience of vulnerable groups and creating opportunities for women and youth. In October 2019, Burkina Faso, Africa's largest producer, in collaboration with the African Union expanded mechanization to better meet the needs of women and promote their agricultural empowerment.
The bottom-up urban agriculture approach brings together farmers, rural enterprises, local organizations, public authorities and individuals from different sectors to form local initiative groups Local Action Groups (LAGs) and take into account interests of all actors and increase the productivity level.
Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators is globally recognized as a source of policy-relevant data and analytics on agricultural research. Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) is led by the The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in the framework of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research program. Sustainable practices of farming are promoted by Farm Advisory System (FAS).
Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) is global knowledge sharing system. Smart-AKIS is a European network integrating Smart Farming technologies into the European farming community and bridging the gap between practices nd research to identify and deliver new Smart Farming solutions.
Agricultural research is distributed between The Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and The Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI). The «Food 2030» process created a foundation for future research on the problems of an integrated food system. In 2015, the The European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) called for the introduction of Smart Farming in Europe. This approach was implemented both at the regional level, in innovation centers located in France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and the UK, as well as at the European level. In April, a declaration of cooperation on «a smart and sustainable digital future for European agriculture and rural areas» was signed to encourage an «evolution of farming systems» .
Also the EU's agreed artificial intelligence plan provides investments in platforms and large-scale pilot projects combining artificial intelligence and robotics in agriculture. On February 5–6, 2020, The Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) organized the EIP-AGRI Workshop «New Skills for Digital Farming». During this workshop, the enormous potential of technological development and digitization to create a smart, competitive and resource-efficient agricultural sector was discussed. However, it was expected more results of introduction of new technologies, so it was recognized the need for an even distribution of innovation efforts, especially for small and medium-sized farms.
A research project to strengthen the CAP and solve problems of compliance and monitoring processes while facilitating the conversion of CAPs to agricultural practices is Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is the largest European Union research and innovation framework that have been allocated for 7 years (2014–2020) to support and encourage research in the European research area . The European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) as an integral part of Horizon 2020. It has six innovative communities dealing with climate change adaptation and mitigation, digital transformation in Europe, Sustainable Energy, well-being, health and social protection systems, accessibility and use of raw materials, food innovation and production. IoF2020, SmartAgriHubs, APOLLO and SURE-Farm «Towards Sustainable and Reliable Agricultural Systems in the EU» are significant EU-funded innovation projects under the Horizon 2020 instrument that realise the digitisation of European agriculture and aim to precision farming. Examples of other projects for more productive and sustainable agriculture are 4D4F, Humane AI, Flourish, Pantheon etc.
Development and implementation of various EIP-AGRI tools, covering both Horizon 2020 (at the transnational level) and CAP (at the national and regional levels), create a comprehensive knowledge base that allow to satisfy requests that come from agriculture and food sectors. The approach is focused on improving information flows to create and share knowledge in an open way, and to ensure space for participants to meet and develop ideas.
Lately more often the definition Precision Agriculture, satellite farming or site specific crop management is met. It includes a variety of specific information technology and innovative tools as GPS guidance, robotics, autonomous vehicles, automated hardware and software. Some of them are variable rate technology (VRT) to control the amount of inputs they apply in a specific location, GPS soil sampling, Yield Monitor Technologies, remote sensing technologies, growers with training and expertise, computer-based applications to create precise farm plans, field maps, crop scouting and yield maps to reduce expenses, produce higher yields and create a more environmentally-friendly operation.
Local e-services become more popular as well. Bright examples are creating central data systems in Estonia, multidimensional system of intellectual farming in Greece, Distance learning courses IBERS for farmers in the UK, service cooperatives on collective investment and the use of machinery, buildings and workers CUMA in France, focus group promoting an interactive process for digital technology in Spain.
These proposals aim to make CAP more responsive to current and future challenges such as climate change and generational renewal, while continuing to support European farmers in a sustainable and competitive agricultural sector. The agricultural transformation process is now facing new challenges. COVID-19 disease affected livelihoods, agriculture, global food trade, markets, food chains and livestock in a way nobody expected.
Constraints and precautions lead to limited sales, paused projects, lack of labor, export restrictions, etc. Urgent measures are needed to keep food supply chains functioning both domestically and internationally in order to mitigate the risk of major shocks that would have a significant impact on everyone and especially on the poor and the most vulnerable.
To provide policymakers all over the world with validated information on policies to support food systems, FAO analyzes how the COVID-19 pandemic affects the food and agricultural sectors and analyze the further strategies at Food and Agriculture Decision Analysis Database (FAPDA) to reduce negative impact. The FAO platform for policy measures is currently updated and classify measures on emergencies, nutrition, trade, social protection, development and transformation, and incentive and deterrence measures.
FAO encourages countries to meet the most urgent food needs of vulnerable populations, strengthen social protection programs, continue to conduct global food trade, maintain domestic supply chains and support the ability of smallholder farmers to increase food production. Innovative institutional mechanisms are implementing to improve the provision of rural services and ensure the efficient use of scarce resources. It will help to achieve the goal of defining policies to accelerate rural change and increase openness and make agriculture more sustainable to challenges.
IFPRI Global food policy report: Building inclusive food systems. (2020). Available at http://ebrary.ifpri.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/133646/filename/133857.pdf
DG AGRI Modernising and simplifying the CAP. Climate & Environmental challenges facing agriculture and rural areas. (2017). Available at https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/food-farmingfisheries/key_policies/documents/ env_background_final_en.pdf
European Commission The post-2020 commonagricultural policy: Environmental benefits and simplification. (2019). Available at https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/food-farming-fisheries/key_policies/documents/cap-post-2020-environ-benefits-simplification_en.pdf
EIP-AGRI Agricultural knowledge and innovation systems. Stimulating creativity and learning. (2018). Available at https://ec.europa.eu/eip/agriculture/sites/agri-eip/files/eipagri_brochure_knowledge_systems_2018_en_web.pdf
European Commission Horizon Europe The next EU research and innovation investment program. (2019). Available at https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/research_and_innovation/strategy_on_research_and_innovation/presentations/horizon_europe_en_investing_to_shape_our_future.pdf
СТРЕЛЬЧУК А., аспірант кафедри міжнародного та європейського права
Національний університет «Одеська юридична академія»
Анотація. Реформування всієї системи сільського господарства стало необхідністю для досягнення ЦУР, забезпечення продовольчої безпеки та повноцінного харчування, збереження природних ресурсів та покращення рівня життя в сільській місцевості. В даний час доступно безліч інноваційних цифрових технологій, що дозволяють втілити точне землеробство в реальність. Проаналізовано політичні підходи та законодавство щодо практичної реалізації нових інструментів.
Ключові слова: сільське господарство; харчування; продовольча політика; інновації; ФАО; ССП.