US farm subsidies three times higher than Europe

US agriculture receives three times more financial support than agriculture in European member states, including the UK.

European farmers are widely considered to be the most supported in the world, yet a report by global think tank Momagri found, per member of the population in 2010, US farmers received €422, while their EU27 counterparts received just €151 in aid.

This is based on US agriculture’s subsidies of €138bn ($172bn), compared with European nations’ €76bn ($94bn).

This gap has continued to widen since 2008, according to the Global Support to Agricultural Production indictor.

US policies focus on agricultural output, taking into account market conditions. At $94bn, 54% of US farmer support is domestic food aid, which is known as a social subsidy, but is paid to the agricultural sector.

Support in the EU concentrates more on maintaining farmers’ living standards, particularly SPS, which accounts for 47% of farm support paid in 2010. This support is geared towards farmers but is counteracted by production and market prices, said momagri.

“And the post-2013 CAP reform proposed by the European Commission makes matters worse, without meeting the challenges of European farmers,” it said.

The organisation is calling for European leaders to incorporate regulatory mechanisms for price and income stabilisation into CAP reform, while introducing more efficiency in EU spending.