With everything that has happened in the world these past 18 months or so, you might have missed this somewhat important development for agriculture. Back in December, one country’s president did not like how market forces were working against his personal beliefs. So, he decided to try to a new tactic to better support his world view.
Of course, I’m talking about French President Emmanuel Macron and his ongoing efforts to discontinue the use of glyphosate in his country. Originally, back in 2017, President Macron made a pledge to his supporters that his government would end the use of the popular herbicide in his country within three years. However, as 2020 has come and gone, and glyphosate remains in use in France, he has had to admit a measure of defeat when it comes to this promise. In fact, the country’s health and environment agency ANSES did announce restrictions on glyphosate use in France back in October. However, this statement stopped short of endorsing a full ban on the herbicide.
So, without a full ban in place, President Macron has authorized his government to “pay” growers to stop using glyphosate. The country’s farm ministry will grant a temporary tax credit of $3,030 (in U.S. dollars) to French growers that declare they will cease using glyphosate in 2021 or 2022. The ministry will also provide additional financing to growers to change their agricultural equipment.
“The challenge is to put in place mechanisms to compensate for farmers’ costs due to the withdrawal glyphosate, because today a farmer who invests to phase out glyphosate does not benefit from immediate value creation,” said the ministry in a statement announcing the program.
It will be interesting to see how effective this anti-glyphosate campaign will be once the 2022 growing season concludes in France next fall. However, it seems clear that President Macron’s movement against the popular herbicide is likely continue . . .