The new protein plan finally unveiled

It has been two years since Emmanuel Macron's announcement at the 2019 Agriculture Show that he wanted to "bring an ambitious protein plan to the scale of the European continent". The government presented the main lines of this strategy, built with the agricultural sectors and endowed with 100 million euros.

The government has set itself a two-stage goal: double the area of protein-rich plants by 2030 and, in order to get the momentum going, to achieve a 40% increase within three years. The whole range of legumes is concerned: fodder legumes (alfalfa, sainfoin, trefoil, clover, vetch), seed legumes for animal feed (soybeans, peas, faba beans, lupin) and finally legumes for human consumption (beans, chickpeas, lentils, broad beans, split peas, peas). All these species now cover nearly one million hectares. This means an additional 400,000 hectares to be planted over the next three years.

The protein plan presented by the Minister is structured around three main priorities. The first is to "reduce our dependence on imports", explained Julien Denormandie. In order to develop local protein industries, €50 million of the recovery plan is earmarked to support the structuring of the industries, in particular allowing investment in production, processing and transport tools.

Second major priority: "improve the food autonomy of livestock farms". A budget of 20 million euros over two years has been earmarked for investment aid on farms. It includes €10 million for investment aid for seeds to increase the protein potential of grassland (fodder legumes). And €10 million for investment aid for specific equipment for legume production and their use on the farm (harvesting, sorting, storage, drying, processing tools, etc). The investment aid could for example concern the purchase of a toaster for seeds.

The third major priority of the protein plan concerns research and development, with a budget of 20 million euros. Measures to support innovation companies in plant breeding and the development of new forms of proteins are also planned. Finally, the plan provides 3 million euros for communication on the consumption of pulses in the human diet, particularly among children.

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