Effective Policies to Boost Agriculture’s Environmental Performance

December 7, 2022 0

Feeding an expanding global population while simultaneously minimizing environmental impact and safeguarding natural resources for future generations is a major challenge for the agricultural industry.

The environment can be significantly impacted by agriculture. Agriculture can also have a positive impact on the environment, such as by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils or by mitigating flood risks through the adoption of specific farming practices. While these negative effects are serious and can include pollution and degradation of soil, water, and air, agriculture can also have a positive impact on the environment.

It is important to keep an eye on the connections that exist between agriculture and the environment, identify successful agricultural policies that enhance positive environmental impacts while reducing negative ones, and offer suggestions for enhancing policy coherence for the agricultural sector’s environmental performance.

Although the environmental impact of agriculture has improved, there is still much work to be done.

There have been some encouraging signs in recent years that the agriculture sector of African countries is capable of meeting its environmental challenges. However, there is still much work to be done. Agriculture’s impact on the environment has improved. In particular, farmers in numerous African nations have improved their utilization and management of nutrients, pesticides, energy, and water, resulting in lower input consumption per unit of land. Conservation tillage, improved manure storage, and soil nutrient testing are all examples of environmentally friendly farming practices that farmers have made significant progress adopting.

Despite these enhancements, there is something else to do, with a significant job for policymakers. In a number of African nations, nitrogen balances are declining, agricultural farmland is rapidly reducing, and the sector’s contribution to water use and contamination remains high in comparison to other uses. Farmers, policymakers, and the agro-food value chain players need to work together more to solve these enduring problems.

Additionally, raising the environmental and resource productivity of agriculture, improving land management practices, reducing pollution discharges, limiting damage to biodiversity, and strengthening policies that avoid the use of production and input subsidies, which tend to damage the environment, are all necessary to address the twin policy challenge of improving environmental performance while simultaneously ensuring global food security for a growing population.

Future policy decisions can be aided by monitoring and evaluating agriculture’s environmental performance.

Different private and public entities have developed recommendations on how to develop cost-effective agri-environmental policies, how to manage water issues for agriculture, and how to deal with climate change challenges in order to assist farmers in improving the sustainability of agriculture. There are also insights on the potential environmental impact of agriculture policies which have been developed by identifying possible policy misalignments and how to jointly address goals for productivity growth and sustainability.

Since agro-ecological conditions and public preferences vary from country to country, there is unlikely to be a “one-size-fits-all” solution for addressing environmental issues in agriculture. However, policymakers must have a thorough understanding of the links between policies and outcomes and the ability to measure them in order to evaluate and achieve better environmental outcomes at a lower cost.

To help this work and assist farmers with evaluating whether the arrangements they have set up are probably going to support efficiency and limit environmental harm, Eagmark is attempting to foster the development of agri-ecological markers (AEMs). In particular, the AEM database can be utilized for:

  1. Providing a snapshot of the agricultural environment’s current state and trends, which may necessitate policy responses;
  2. Elucidating the regions in which new environmental issues are emerging;
  3. Comparing performance trends over time, and helping farmers meet environmental targets, threshold levels, and standards where they have been set by the government.
  4. Evaluating and monitoring agricultural policies
  5. Anticipating future patterns.

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