UN Report: Low-carbon Farms Can Raise Food Output

According to a newly launched UN report, low-carbon farming can both curb climate change and boost food output in developing nations. The agency’s report, “Food Security and Agricultural Mitigation in Developing Countries,” suggests that because of this fact, low-carbon farms must be rewarded under a global climate deal due in December.

In a Reuters article, Leslie Lipper, FAO economist and co-author of the report said that financing remains a major hurdle to greater implementation:

“A key part of the problem is a lack of financing.  If adopted by farmers, many of these practices make them better off, but in the short run they may face reduced income,” Lipper said, using the example of removing cattle to allow grasslands to recover.

In terms of contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, the report estimated that farms accounts for 10-12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions directly.  It also estiamted that $210bn would be needed between now and 2050 to help farms upgrade sufficiently to meet future yield needs.

Developing countries could raise about $30bn annually toward this investment through carbon market financing.  Measuring such improvements to the carbon efficiency of farm production is currently being researched.

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