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What Are The Main Arguments For And Against The Cap? Which Do You Agree With, And Why?

1881 words - 8 pages

What are the main arguments for and against the CAP? Which do you agree with, and why?

The common agricultural policy (CAP) is a system of programmes and subsidies paid to EU farmers, which represents about half of the EU's budget, however, this number continues to decrease over the years. Initially, CAP was established to increase agricultural productivity in the EU and secure availability of food supplies after World War II . The CAP offered subsidies and systems guaranteeing high prices to farmers, who were encouraged to produce in response to consumer demand. This helped reduce Europe's dependence on imported food and quickly made Western Europe self-sufficient in food, but at the ...view middle of the document...

Droughts, floods or Mad- Cow Disease could reduce farmer's income without EU helps. Moreover the farming sector has always experienced lower incomes, causing relative poverty in national economies. It was big advantage for farmers, because CAP provided higher prices for them, by setting the price floors above the world prices. Farmer's income increased rapidly. Producers were protected from the external market due to community preference and, therefore, domestic agriculture could develop. Nowadays supports for farmers are less dependent on how much is produced, and instead there is a lot of emphasis on environmentally friendly, hight quality and healthy products. In the case of Poland, which is a new member of EU since the 2004, agricultural support for Polish farmers is very essential. Poland has large area of rural land, and the population of Poland’s rural areas is growing. People employed in agriculture consist more than 17 % of total employment. Agricultural sector in Poland is far below standard. Production methods and equipment are relatively less efficient, because of lack of money and technical capacity for rapid modernisation to reach production levels like in oder Western Member States. Poland’s current organic sector is among other EU's countries the weakest, therefore access to a common market and CAP founds is crucial for Polish farmers. They can make use of Rural Development funding to help them make the changes they feel are necessary to become more competitive. Theirs incomes fell far behind the others member states, but after entrance to EU agricultural incomes had increased by 75 %, there was a 13.7% increase in real agricultural income per worker in Poland. I was very pleased to see the recent figures, showing the huge benefits to Polish farmers of EU membership. There is no doubt that direct payments to farmers instead of subsidising their products as well as giving more funding to rural development are positive developments. Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) create an opportunity to improve economic effectiveness of agriculture and the situation of rural population on the labour market.
Another advantage of CAP is that in the EU prices are generally more stable which reduces the agricultural problems. The free market is unstable and consequently prices could keep changing without intervention and a great number of small-scale family farms would be ruined. Therefore interventions are needed to stabilise farm incomes. A further advantage of CAP is that it helps to preserve the rural environment and the traditional appearance of the countryside. Without CAP, some rural areas would become completely abandoned because there were no jobs or income in the area.
However this system is not so perfect as it seems to be. In spite of the fact that CAP claims that it aims at promotion of efficient family farms, in fact it supports mainly large farms in Europe. Wealthy landowners and the agrobusiness benefit most. It is worth...

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