Improvements to the way we grow food is essential to be able to feed a growing population while also reducing emissions. With agriculture being one of the main drivers of deforestation, the sector of agriculture, forestry and other land use is the largest contributor of global direct GHGs emissions (24% or 11.76 Gt CO2e/yr). (Source: IPCC Assessment Report 5).
While absolute emissions are expected rise in emerging economies and developing countries, through efficiency gains, resources can be used more effectively to reduce emission per-unit of production. The following interventions can help:
• Cropland management (improved varieties, crop rotation, efficient use of fertilizer, reduced tillage, water harvesting, timing & precision)
• Grazing land management (deep rooting grasses, appropriate stocking densities, animal waste management)
• Livestock (improved feed and dietary additives to reduce emissions form enteric fermentation, improved breeds).
Demand side measures are also critical to reduce global agricultural emissions, including dramatic food waste reduction as well policy interventions to address consumption of high impact food like meat and soy.
Beyond climate mitigation, improvements to agricultural practices around the world are even more critical in climate adaptation – that is, empowering food producers to become resilient to the increasing challenges posed by an already changing climate.