In a region that comprises of 49% agricultural land, the regional government of Ile-de-France (where France’s capital city Paris is located) has recently developed a strategy to better protect this land and connect it with local producers and consumers. The Ile-de-France regional strategy for sustainable and local agriculture recognises that in order to have green cities, there must also be access to local and organic agricultural products. In order to achieve this, the strategy consists of three central pillars:
Protect farmlands and make them more accessible to agricultural project leaders
Encourage the agro-ecological transformation of existing farmlands
Develop and promote local industries
The need for relocalisation of the region’s food system is quite apparent: According to the Ile-de-France department of Agriculture, Environment, and Energy, over 90% of the food consumed in Paris is imported. In 2011, Ile-de-France residents consumed 26% of vegetables produced in the region and only 2,7% of regionally produced fruits. This infographic (in French) explains further the statistics of the region’s production and consumption patterns.
Ile-de-France has engaged a number of partners in order to implement their strategy, including existing local and regional networks such as AMAP (Community supported agriculture network), research partners such as PSDR (For and About Regional Development), and partners at the European level such as EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development).
Through these partnerships, a variety of new and existing programmes will be used to facilitate the goals of the strategy. These include an agri-urban programme that will aid the community in setting up local food projects and protecting agricultural land, a program to encourage and aid farmers in their transition to organic farming methods, and a number of programmes to support the diversification of farmers in order to stabilize incomes and ensure their ecological transition.
For more detailed information about the strategy and the various ways it will be implemented, click here (in French only).