Rethinking climate risk management on farms

While climate risks increase, actors from the agricultural world are proposing solutions to address them, during a round table organized at Sima, on November 8, 2022, by France Agricole on the theme of Agriculture in 2030.

“Farms are subject to many risks” economic, climatic, health … By managing these risks, “we will not do it alone!” This is the observation made by Christiane Lambert, president of the FNSEA, on November 8, 2022, during a round table on the future of agriculture by 2030. Organized by La France Agricole on the television of the NGPA group, this round table was presented by Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, who recalled that by 2030 “half of farm managers will be old enough to retire, an opportunity to profoundly transform our agriculture, make it more resilient, more competitive. and make jobs more attractive. “

Farmers need research tools, both fundamental and applied, through new technologies and support, especially financial. And in a context of omnipresent climate risks, what about risk management? As regards risk management, some answers are starting to emerge, in particular on the issues of Water storageof the’crop insuranceconservation of carbon or loans. “Farmers must be persuaded to take out insurance” to protect themselves from risks, particularly through crop insurance, says the president of the FNSEA.

Agroclimatology, a risk prediction tool

L’agroclimatologya science that combines agriculture and climatology, is a tool that allows you to assess the impact of climate risks on agriculture but also the impact of agriculture on the climate, explains Serge Zaka, agroclimatologist at ITK. According to this specialist, agroclimatology allows us to understand the evolution of climate risk in the current context of complete modification of the crop calendar (seasonal shifts, flowering stage, sowing, etc.). Its purpose is to predict climate change and thus avoid yield losses. Therefore, “it is better to anticipate than to suffer,” he emphasizes.

For Sebastian Prinresponsible for the agricultural market at the National Confederation of Mutual credit, agroclimatology is now necessary to objectify and quantify the passage of the agroecological transition. It is an interesting decision support tool. However, “the decision to grant an investment loan will never be based on a model (…), but on people and trust”.

When asked about the financial support to farmers and the reluctance that banks may have, the head of Crédit Mutuel replies that the financing of French agriculture is now adequately secured, underlining the strong distribution of banking networks on the territory and the proximity of specialized managers of ‘business. According to him, this current system carries a relatively low cost of risk and facilitates access to loans. However, he admits that banking analysis models need to evolve to better manage emerging risks.

Responding to the challenges of agriculture in 2030

When asked what will be the strong pillars of agriculture in 2030, Christiane Lambert insists on food sovereignty, environmental transition and generational change. According to her, these pillars pass through what she calls the “3 Rs”, the relocation of production, with the idea of ​​food sovereignty, the profitability of farms, through a change in working conditions and a decent income, and human resources, i.e. recruitment in the agricultural professions.

For Jean Marie Savallefounding president of the group Isagriresponding to the challenges of agriculture in 2030 will require the acquisition of new skills, which is summed up in three words: “training, (quality) information and dissemination”:

  • Train farmers on new tools and develop new agronomic skills to increase productivity;
  • Quality information and proximity to the markets to “regain control over marketing” in order to improve revenue;
  • Dissemination and / or communication with farmers on good practices but also with consumers (integration of social networks).

And for Jean-Marie Savalle there is also a work of communication and positivism to do because “when we talk about agriculture today, it is to talk about disaster”. For his part, the president of the FNSEA thinks that we should not “overwhelm the farmers”, but show them examples of systems and practices to provide them with concrete solutions by supporting them financially so that they can make them happen. .

Finally, responding to these challenges is a way to facilitate generational turnover by making agricultural professions more attractive. “It is another look that we must take today to agriculture”, underlines Christiane Lambert.

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