BRUSSELS (AP) — The candidate to become the European Union’s agriculture commissioner says a key goal is promoting the survival of small and family farms.

Polish candidate Janusz Wojciechowski says he would put farming at the center of his policies during a five-year term that starts in November and make family farms a prime driver of progress.

During his European Parliament confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Wojciechowski noted a dramatic decline in the number of farms throughout the EU.

Wojciechowski said that from 2005 to 2015, the bloc lost 4 million farms and slumped to 11 million.

He said that in the time of the three-hour hearing “more than 100 European farmers probably will lose their farm, their job. For many of them it will be tragic.”