Here you will find the ideas and proposals of a future, more sustainable agriculture submitted by citizens, with which we want to further advance the discourse on the current design of agricultural policy. We thank all those who have shared their wishes for a future worth living!
Below you will find the demands at a glance as well as the formulated ideas and proposals.
"No more subsidies for conventional farmers. Subsidies only for organic farms or for the conversion of the farm to organic farming. Back to more small-scale farming structures. Plant wide field hedges of wild shrubs. Immediate ban on all chemical sprays (insecticides, pesticides and fungicides). Ban the cultivation of maize over a wide area. Replanting and preservation of near-natural green spaces. Promotion of regional organic farming. Clear and general ban on factory farming and dismantling of biogas plants".
"I would like to see the abolition of factory farming and thus a rethinking of the way we eat. There should be more emphasis on regionality and organic quality."
"I wish for an end to factory farming. In addition, the profilactic use of antibiotics should be banned and the use of fertilisers reduced to a tolerable level. Measures to promote biodiversity should be rewarded and unecological actions punished. Small farms with local distribution should be re-established. Agricultural projects in the form of cooperatives, in which one actively helps or shares the risk of crop failure, I find very nice."
"Promote regional processing of raw materials - build up production facilities, marketing. More digitalisation in the field promotes the economy and productivity, but in the end the farmer is always dealing with living beings. Therefore, digitalisation should not be seen as a way out of the crisis and all digital achievements should be 'lumped together' and promoted. Reduce farmers' dependence on pesticides and fertilisers. Reward the use of natural cycles. (e.g. use of manure). Limit fertilisation N/ha sensibly. Softskills to complement the ideas, because everything is connected to everything else. The proposals are aimed at more quality, animal welfare, regionality and presumably a better farm balance sheet for farmers. Parallel to this, a discussion must be held for more acceptance on the consumer side (higher food prices - adapted consumption). Semantic choice of words: instead of renunciation - new prosperity; instead of losses - new opportunities; environmental education already desirable in school; credit points for assistance in garden, nature, agriculture - impact on grades; experiments in the environmental laboratory".
"I hope that there will be a fair compromise between ecology and economic efficiency for farmers."
"Convert all agriculture and private gardens to permaculture. Plant lots of trees in the cities. Unseal large squares. Reduce animal husbandry by at least 50%! Pass on long-term environmental damage to the product in its entirety, then organic will be cheapest. Support small farmers, less subsidies for large farms. Develop farms as learning places for therapy places and also bring children closer to nature!"
"More nature and species conservation, less animal husbandry and, as a consequence, more division of large agricultural areas to get away from monocultures. Agroforestry is an important step forward in this respect."
"Do not link income to hectares, but to the ecosystem services provided; reintroduce the area commitment for livestock farming that Mr. Seehofer removed; include dynamic and syntropic (=following succession) agroforestry systems in the support systems; only regenerative agriculture, i.e. agriculture that builds up the soil, etc., should be supported. The income of a farmer should not primarily depend on subsidies, but on the income generated through the sale of products and ecosystem services provided; agricultural products should be priced holistically, i.e. all costs (social, ecological, environmental) should be taken into account. i.e. all costs (social, environmental and economic) should be included; the diversity grown in the fields should also be reflected on the plate (e.g. not only cereals, but also tree fruits such as sweet chestnuts and sweet acorns, beechnuts, etc.)".
"There would be a lot to do. Here are a few of the most important measures from my point of view: Cutting back on factory farming; no importing of primeval forest/environmentally destructive feedstuffs such as soya from industrial-type cultivation areas; ending the unconditional subsidisation of large farms; promoting small-scale farming structures; reducing field sizes/promoting marginal structures of all kinds (e.g. hedgerows and field margins). e.g. hedgerows and field margins); reduction in pesticide use; implementation and control of the Fertiliser Ordinance; ending the cultivation of peat soils/restoration of peat soils; increasing groundwater levels in the overall landscape through appropriate measures."
"Promotion of small regional farms with a sustainable concept."
"Strips of bushes or scrub should be created between the fields again, so that game and birds, insects and rarer plants have a place to retreat. The monotonous, endless fields must come to an end."
"I would like to see farming that is in harmony with nature, i.e. that also takes into account the concerns of animals, insects and other organisms, e.g. small and micro organisms in humus, and recognises their value for agriculture and a healthy environment for us all."
"I would like to see organic farming oriented towards permaculture/dynamic agroforestry. No more large-scale monocultures, no more use of chemicals, no open soils, integrated water management, connected forest areas even over roads. Urban gardening, vertical and on roofs and in disused industrial wastelands. Publicly accessible orchards, herb gardens and water sources."
"I would like to see more "bar mowers"- improving the survival of insects like grasshoppers. Mowing in sections to allow animals to escape to other areas. Also healthier soil: less and less deep digging - this provides a better soil climate, more CO2 sequestration and less need for fertiliser. No pesticides. More effective land use, actively used to reduce cultivated land (rather than simply more production). Return to 3-field farming where appropriate. Better and more economical use of water. There is a lot of potential for saving water (ideas can be found in very dry countries). If necessary, indoor farming (see the Netherlands and Singapore). On the subject of livestock farming, which is also part of agriculture...better animal conditions, which are also checked regularly (more often than 10 years!!!) with very high penalties for non-compliance. In part, cultivation and livestock breeding can also be very well combined (e.g. one would not have to buy extra manure or extra fodder, as it is grown by the farmers themselves). Forestry: On a political level, forest farmers should get money just for keeping trees, as they bind CO2. The older the trees, the more money per tree (for the first 10 years, young trees do not yet count as CO2 stores). At the agricultural level: please do not clear-cut, as this releases CO2 and degrades soil quality. Cultivation of mixed forests and above all trees that are sustainable (e.g. drought and heat resistant). I am also in favour of the controlled use of genetically modified organisms, but only if they are used to improve the quality of life and reduce resources. Politically: If a farm with 200 ha still receives 10 times more support than a farm with 20 ha, this type of support should be reconsidered significantly, because this type of support leads to larger farms instead of smaller, regional ones. Moreover, no overproduction and targeted destruction of foodstuffs to artificially drive up prices. Sustainable and ecological cultivation is better.
"More organic farming. Enjoyment certificates for fellow citizens."
"I would like to see small-scale above all. Small farms with small stables and small fields and fields surrounded by hedges. Agricultural machinery should also become smaller and lighter again so as not to further compact the soil. All distances must become short, there must be more farm shops, market stalls and small shops where the customer can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, eggs and the like "around the corner" - at fair prices - i.e. directly from the producer, without intermediate trade. Cruel forms of keeping such as sows and piglets for fattening should finally be banned - the transitional period for farmers has long since expired! Animals for meat production must be killed as gently as possible on the farm by mobile butchers. Live transports through Europe must be stopped, only meat should be allowed to be transported. Organic meat must become so "expensive" - i.e. fair - that people really only treat themselves to a Sunday roast and not every day. A return to old livestock breeds is necessary. Animals can be kept extensively, we no longer need pure fattening facilities and we would have space. Vegetables that do not conform to the "norm" should no longer be ploughed straight back into the field - they are foodstuffs that are valuable despite external "blemishes" and have been grown using energy. All farmers should gradually have to switch to organic farming and then, of course, also need financial support in the transition phase (from now on, no more support for industrial agriculture!). Our soils urgently need recovery, away from liquid manure and artificial fertiliser, towards humus build-up and dynamic agroforestry. Also important are the promotion and maintenance of orchards, the rewetting of fields that were once moorland, flower strips, the protection of pollinators (wild bees, hoverflies, beetles), the protection of farmland birds, and the possibility of once again accommodating barn swallows in stables. We consumers are basically willing to pay fair prices for good organic products from the region. Unfortunately, the lobby of industrial agribusiness is still far too powerful - a strong headwind is needed here. "
"Healthy food. No genetic engineering, no factory farming."
"Smaller farms, regional marketing, more space for animals, fewer animals (less methane), extensive farming; promotion / development of alternative plantings for biogas production (instead of maize); combined heat and power; 3. Abolition / reduction of subsidies and linkage to species-appropriate animal husbandry and species-rich crop production; 4. More support for organic farms."
"I would like to see support for farmers who actually work sustainably, especially smaller farms. Industrial animal breeding factories should be abolished; instead, financial and gladly advertising appreciation of the qualitatively and responsibly working organic and regional farms that ensure that the soil is enriched with humus instead of using it up and artificially overfertilising it. Gladly higher prices so that farmers can implement better animal welfare and the switch to organic. Promote and publicise permaculture, agroforestry and agrophotovoltaics on a large scale! No cheap exports of milk or meat, which then ruin local farms in the target countries and take away their livelihoods. In return, no imports of cheap agricultural products that harm nature and our own farmers (soya and meat from rainforest areas, inhumane production methods that disregard animal welfare). Nature, climate and human protection must go hand in hand, especially in agriculture!
"I would like to see us stop depleting our soils with mono-cropping. Use far less or hardly any chemicals and far more natural predators, appropriate plants, etc. to ensure healthy seeds on healthy soil. Enable species-rich, healthy wildlife along the fields. Use seed-resistant, regionally diverse varieties. Valuing diversity in farms and not fuelling monopolies by large corporations - which are then subsidised for dominating and destroying the market. Now not only in Germany but also in Europe and worldwide. And that finally appropriate prices are demanded with which all this is possible. Which in turn will probably also change the quantity - which would lead to a balance between production and consumption, supply and meeting demand. I wish for FREE SPACE for nature and natural spaces without intervention. And on a grand scale! Straightening, deforestation, sealing and the like have been thoughtlessly and recklessly practised for decades. We have not only been getting the receipt for this since July 2021. We humans are nothing without nature - but without us humans, nature would still be intact. This, in turn, applies not only to Germany, but globally. But let's just start on our own doorstep to find a HEALTHY measure again."
"That finally people become ministers or discuss in the relevant bodies, pass laws, who understand the subject of agriculture and the environment and only they are allowed to decide on it. The absolute majority of the current ministers are lawyers, teachers and other theorists. What is to come out of this in terms of competence on the urgent issues of agriculture and the environment? A minister who smiles radiantly in front of the camera with Nestle and chooses sugar-sweet words really says it all, and that is unfortunately how it is and how it will remain. Our earth is fighting back and people are looking for culprits instead of thinking and acting. As an atheist I would recommend "Lord give them brains"."
"I am very much in favour of promoting regionality and small farms and a strong focus on nature and environmental protection and sustainability of products. I'll make it concrete: All animal breeding facilities that do not fully comply with the (actually too lax) requirements - such as space, hygiene, fire protection, etc. - must be closed down immediately. - must be closed down immediately. A high-performance barn with a lot of space around it in a wide open space must be converted into a barn with species-appropriate husbandry in the open air or in outdoor climate barns!"
"I would like to see more small-scale agricultural structures with interruptions by hedges (native), woody plants (native), furthermore I find methods like agroforestry, permaculture (with water retention landscapes), Demeter and also organic farming useful. The cultivation of hemp without agricultural poisons and fertilisers is very sustainable and should be promoted. In general, agriculture should do without agricultural poisons and artificial fertilisers. The money saved can be invested in more personnel. The use of horses (instead of heavy agricultural machinery) should also be promoted again. Private kitchen garden culture without poisons should also be propagated and promoted. Old varieties, which are probably more resistant to some fungi and pests, should be used again. My proposals are aimed at smaller farms whose products can then be marketed only/primarily regionally, perhaps also in the form of producers' cooperatives. There would also have to be some kind of farmers' market in larger cities, where (like in my childhood) farmers offer their own products (no wholesale market products). Of course, the EU would have to promote and advertise these forms and there would have to be training for farmers."
"Very clear: strengthen organic vegan and regional!"
"We should finally get started and not always just discuss, then it will only continue to be like this. And there should finally be someone who dares to make decisions, even if they turn out to be wrong later, and not through a group where everyone says what they think but doesn't want to be in charge so that they are not called to account for their mistakes later! And afterwards no one should stand up and say he/she knew better, then he/she/it could have taken over to make the decisions..."
"Making the soils healthy again through humus formation and Terra Preta, at the same time carbon is stored and bound in the soil. The need for fertiliser is reduced in a natural way."
"Regionality, organic farming, financial compensation for landscape maintenance (fallow land), animal and egg production on a non-industrial scale."