The French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques-INSEE), has published some figures on the dramatic situation that French agricultural producers and ranchers are going through. According to the agency, the suicide rate among agricultural producers and ranchers in France is 20% higher than that of the rest of the population, and that this is due to financial problems and the social isolation to which they are currently doomed. To this we must add a growing pressure by radical groups of environmentalists because of the use of pesticides, and also by other groups that attack them for raising cattle.
According to the official figures of the National Economic Analysis Council, 84% of the income of French agricultural producers comes from subsidies, both from the French State itself and from the European Union (EU).
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allowed a transformation of the French productive system, but the crisis and the changes in the CAP that have been taking place in recent times, together with globalization and new production models, are making French producers suffer a situation of social distress.
An awareness-raising film
Right now, a film about the agricultural crisis based on real events is raising awareness about these issues in France. The film portrays the story of Pierre, a producer who returns to France after a time in the United States. After taking over his father's farm, in which he carries out a modernization plan paid for with loans, living a happy time, price crises and financial problems arrive and he falls into depression. He then starts abusing alcohol and eventually commits suicide at 45 years of age by drinking phytosanitary products.