Arable Farming Strategy 2035
Prospects for efficient and diverse crop production
Arable farming produces the great majority of basic foodstuffs and animal feed and therefore represents the foundation for our daily food. The past decades have seen a significant increase in output. This guarantees a secure, high-quality supply of food.
However, the high level of productivity in arable farming also entails challenges in terms of environmental protection, nature conservation, economic factors and social acceptance. Furthermore, existing conflicts of interests need to be resolved.
On 19 December 2019, Julia Klöckner, the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, presented a discussion paper on the Arable Farming Strategy 2035. By submitting this strategy, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) intends to stimulate discussions on the further development of arable farming in Germany.
The Arable Farming Strategy is designed for the medium to long term. It cannot serve as a manual. By putting forward its Arable Farming Strategy, the BMEL wants to present a framework for viable arable farming in Germany, outline prospects and support the agricultural sector in the implementation process.
The fundamentals of the arable farming strategy adopted in the coalition agreement for the 19th legislative term were elaborated by a working group consisting of scientists from institutions within the BMEL’s remit and from several German Länder. The present Arable Farming Strategy has been developed on the basis of this groundwork, with a panel of experts continuously accompanying the process.
Structure of the Arable Farming Strategy
The Arable Farming Strategy comprises six guidelines and twelve fields of activity. The guidelines describe the basic conditions for viable arable farming.
- Ensuring the supply of food, animal feed and biogenic raw materials
- Securing the income of farmers
- Promoting nature protection and the conservation of resources
- Maintaining biodiversity in agricultural landscapes
- Stepping up climate action and adapting arable farming methods to climate change
- Increasing social acceptance of arable farming
Fields of activity
The Strategy describes problematic issues as well as trade-offs in each field of activity and presents objectives and measures for addressing them. The following 12-point plan lays down the fundamental aims of the fields of activity:
- Further enhancing soil conservation and improving soil fertility
- Increasing crop diversity and expanding crop rotation
- Increasing efficiency in fertilising and reducing nutrient excess
- Strengthening integrated plant protection and reducing undesired environmental impacts
- Developing resilient and site-adapted species and varieties
- Using digitalisation to optimally exploit arable farming potential
- Enhancing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes
- Developing climate-smart crop plans
- Stepping up climate action in arable farming and making use of synergies
- Improving training and advice
- Promoting appreciation of the farmer’s profession
- Accompanying the implementation of the Arable Farming Strategy at political and financial level
Implementation of the Arable Farming Strategy/measures
Arable farming is a complex system that does not lend itself to simple solutions. This is why the Arable Farming Strategy describes a variety of individual measures designed to address the challenges involved.
What happens next?
The strategy on hand will serve as a basis for a discussion process involving the wider public and all relevant stakeholders.