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of Conference on Rural development,
On November 14, 2000, a Conference organized jointly by the Embassy of France and the Delegation of the European Commission entitled "The Role of Agriculture in Rural Development" took place in Washington, DC. It was attended by around 150 people (farmers and farmers representatives, Congress staffers, administration officials, interest groups, embassies).
The Conference showed that, despite the
often-overshadowing transatlantic trade conflicts on agriculture, the EU and
the US share common concerns as regards the well-being of rural areas. Indeed,
while the US and EU pursue different routes relative to farm policy and rural
development policy, they do try to reach the same goal: maintaining agriculture
and fostering growth in the sector. Panelists highlighted the need for future
agricultural policies to look beyond the traditional aspects of
commodity-related programs and provide farmers with policies that encourage
them to pursue their farming activity. They expressed concerns that in the
absence of innovative approach and policies that would bring greater returns to
farmers for their investments, both the US and the EU would be faced with the
reality of greater exodus of farming and a major decline in new entrants.
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