Perspectives on European agriculture in 2020

C. Folmer,  Michiel Keyzer, M. A. Merbis, H. J. J. Stolwijk, P. J. J. Veenendaal
2020 policy brief

Earlier 2020 briefs identified annual growth rates for world population of 1.7 percent per year based on United Nations projections and per capita income growth in low- and middle-income economies of 2.9 percent as the major driving forces for growth in agricultural demand. These growth rates would probably result in a food demand increase of 2.5--3.0 percent, which should then be matched by agricultural production. Over the period 1970--90, production grew 2.3 percent annually, but most experts agree that major efforts will be needed to sustain a growth rate of about 2 percent in the future. Though most of this production growth will be realized within the regions, some food will have to be imported, and international trade will play an increasingly important role. Drawing on a recent study of European Union (EU) agriculture, this brief focuses on the EU-12 members in 1994 and discusses the consequences of possible further reforms of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on its agriculture and its potential as an agricultural exporter.