Published on 23 March 2018


The French Ministry of Agriculture announces bioeconomy strategy

The Ministry of Agriculture recently announced a "plan of action" for the bioeconomy in order to promote rural energy generation and encourage the use of agricultural, forestry, marine and aquaculture resources in the production of "food, renewable energy and bio-based materials".

The government wants to make better use of wool and sheep skin.

During the annual Agricultural Fair in Paris, the French Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Travert, presented a plan detailing fifty measures to develop "the economy of the living,” such as energy production derived from biomass and the promotion of agricultural waste.

The minister added that new agricultural and forestry facilities could be created, noting that a precise timetable has been set for each of the 50 measures announced. In French overseas regions, one measure ensures the establishment of "biomass valorisation" facilities by 2020, such as those concerned with sugar cane residues used to supply power plants.

In France, the plan calls for the development of a French calf leather facility by 2020 in order to improve quality and revive the sector, as well as the structuring of a wool and sheep skin sector. Another measure focuses on strengthening value-added subsidiaries in fiber and plant products by 2020, notably via flax and hemp straw.

€100 million methanation fund

Some measures are purely administrative, such as the adoption of the decree implementing the French ecological transition law, which should be carried out in 2018 to facilitate the systematic use of bio-based products in public administrations buildings, hospitals and schools. Another measure is to "lift the regulatory obstacles surrounding agricultural biogas" as early as 2018. Currently, this measure is hampered by the “complexity” of administrative procedures.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced the establishment of an unsecured loan fund for agricultural biogas – or the production of energy from animal waste – for up to €100 million, as stated in the agricultural section of the government’s “Major Investment Plan”.

Macron also indicated that the production of renewable energies via electricity production, biofuel, or biogas represented additional income for more than 50,000 farmers. In this regard, Minister Stéphane Travert also expressed his desire to have "the 2024 Olympic Games used as an opportunity to highlight these sectors (...), by using bio-sourced materials, (wood, concrete, hemp, flax fiber) for the construction of the Olympic Village ".

Reporting with AFP



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