Climate Smart Agriculture
The third day of the COP22 was dedicated to the farmers.
Agriculture is one of the major issues of Climate Change. The total emissions from global livestock represents the 14.5% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions.
The problem becomes even bigger when we know that the global population will increase by 9.7 billion by 2050 (according to UN ). That means more people to feed and that will increase the emission of the agricultural sector.
The crucial question is: how to feed 9.7nbillion people and not die in the intent?
At the same time this is one of the most polemic and chaotic areas of climate action, that is, everyone has their own opinion, because everyone defends different interests. There are so many different answers, unfortunately for us. But even though, we will try to put some clarity in this problematic topic.
Issues: Growing population + food security= how to increase foodstuff productivity? (without destroying the planet?!)
Technology is in the top of the answer list, we need more research about how to increase the productivity of land. For example, to prevent soil degradation and without destroying more forests. Access to the same technology should be guarantee to all farmers all over the world. Connected to this, it is thenaccess to information: accurate information about the weather is crucial. Fornexample, if farmers know when it is going to rain they could plan the seeding,nso that the harvest would be protected. n
At the same time, farmers should have access to easy loans, so they can invest in technology. So, we need more finance in agriculture. The use of fertilizes is a huge topic as well. The main debate is about the use of organic or chemical fertilizers. On this matter there is not a common point of view: there is people who say that we need a 100% organic agriculture and other that say that it is impossible to have a system like that. Others think that the developed countries use huge quantities of chemical fertilizers and they must reduce their number, but that farmers from developing countries can use chemical fertilizer because the impact it not too high.
And even others who, instead, say that we need to find the balance between the two of them. Once that the production is increased and protected, we need to guarantee the access to the markets and trade, so that foods arrive where there is demand. But here we have another problem: there is a huge quantity of waste of food, from the mechanism of transport to how people consume it. Transport needs to improve, and people need to change the way they consume. Indeed, we are already producing the quantity of foodstuff for feedingn9 billion people, the problem is that a lot of food is being wasted!!
The way that wealthy countries/people consume needs to be changed, we just waste too much food.
How to do it? Education and perhaps rising prices of food would be possible solution, because you are not going to throw away your 600 Euros smartphone, right?
In conclusion, we need to create a climate smart agriculture, trough creating a sustainable and widely diverse range of products of agriculture. There is no one-side fix all, but we need to work case by case, implementing site specific management practices for rate, time, place and source.
At the same time we need to balance economic, environmental and social priorities. We need to become clever, and the way to achieve this is to listen the farmers in order to make a plan that would help them and help us and the environment.