The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy

As a sector, agriculture is essential to the green economy. With a predicted 9 billion people by 2050, agricultural production will have to increase by 70% to meet new demands for food, feed, fuel and fibre. Agriculture must not only meet these demands-it must do so whilst minimising its environmental footprint and creating sustainable livelihoods for farmers and others along the supply chain. 

Globally agriculture accounts for 37% of employment, 34% of land use, 70% of water use and up to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture can play a key role in helping to achieve the triple goals of a secure food supply, poverty reduction through improved rural livelihoods, and environmental sustainability through reduced carbon footprint of production and climate change adaptation. 

Farmers are key to a green economy. Together we must help farmers share knowledge and have access to the training and inputs they need to sustainably improve the quantity, quality and diversity of the crops they grow. We must help them adapt to changing weather patterns to keep soil fertile and to tackle pests.To help reduce food waste, farmers also need better access to markets to get supplies and information and to sell their surplus crops more reliably and affordably. 

A transition to a green economy is already underway but the challenge is to build on this momentum. As global leaders prepare to meet at the Rio+20 (UNCSD) summit in 2012, they must not neglect the central role in delivering a green economy and the important role of farmers as drivers of these changes.

Read more about the green economy on Farming First’s website

Original article published at

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