The EU needs to remove the “barriers to new technologies” which are currently hampering agricultural development in Europe, Copa-Cogeca’s vice president, Ricardo Serra, told 650 farmers during an industry congress in Brussels.
The vice president was speaking this week at the “Congress of European Farmers”, during a session which addressed the challenges posed to producers by the new CAP, especially for family farming businesses.
The EU, he told delegates from 28 member states, needed to embrace innovation and new technologies in European agriculture and remove existing barriers, including those related to agricultural biotechnology.
He then warned that a refusal by EU leaders to depart from their current “barriers” stance, would leave the European industry far behind many other producing regions.
The only Spanish farmer to address the congress, he illustrated his message through the example of agricultural innovation in Andalusia, where more than 800,000 acres had been brought into active production through a drip irrigation development. He added that the project had substantially reduced water consumption, while successfully maintaining the highest quality farming standards and sustainability.
“However, he said, “if the EU remains off-line on the new farming technologies that are already widespread in the rest of the world, we will see EU productivity gradually decline while the US, Japan, Brazil, Canada and the rest of our competitors continue to increase, simply because they have chosen to put science at the service of agriculture.”
Copa-Cogeca is the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU, representing 28 million farmers.