Wishful Thinking vs Evidence-based Planning: Opinions and Arguments on the Future of the European Agriculture

Lakner, Zoltán

Keywords: organic farming, EASAC, food safety, environmental protection, organic farming, competitiveness JEL: Q10, Q18, Q19

There has been a decades-long debate in the European Union, which way to follow in agricultural development and agricultural policy: the economic or the ecologic path? The study of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Academies published a study in April 2022 on desirable ways of agricultural transition into the direction of regenerative agriculture. This document can be considered as a manifesto of organic and green lobbies. Its central idea is to give priority to the putative ecological considerations. Based on our analysis in the era of climate change, global increasing of food demand, natural (e.g., pandemics) or human caused (e.g. wars) instability of food supply chains, during transition to bioeconomy the purposeful decreasing of the existing production capacities cannot be considered as a rational alternative, serving the achievement of sustainable development goals. Instead of echoing well-sounding, popular phrases, which are often based on wishful thinking, unproven beliefs and bias-burdened documents, there is a need for responsible, long-range strategy. The rational soil-fertility management, optimisation of the ratio between plant and animal production, application of agricultural cybernetics and precision farming, usage of modern biotechnology, based on genetic edition, support of formation of economically and ecologically optimal size agricultural farms should be the basic pillars of sustainable European agricultural development trajectory, satisfying simultaneously the social, economic and environmental considerations.