Saving the planet or covering the costs?

Saving the planet or covering the costs?

20-30% of greenhouse gas emission comes from food and agriculture sector globally. In a closer look, 24% of this sector comes from land use, 27% comes from crop production, 31% comes from livestock and fisheries and 18% comes from the supply chain. (According to Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek (2018) published in


On the other hand, we have a lot of farmers working and living in developing countries around the world. These farmers usually don’t receive institutional, economic, and political supports like farmers in developed countries and most of the time, have to adapt their budgets with the lowest prices that middlemen propose for their crops, while costs and –sometimes- inflation, swallow these small monies they hardly earn.

In addition, recently some agriculture areas are mostly located in the west of Asia and north of Africa is fighting the water crisis also. It means that they have to take action to control the crisis or decries its effects immediately, otherwise, a real disaster would be predictable.

It seems sustainable farming would be a meaningless slogan for such farmers fighting for their initial needs. They just work to earn more money to cover the costs. For example, they probably choose fertilizers or pesticides only by one criterion; price. It means that they will pay their small money to harvest more unsafe crops and release more chemical molecules in nature.

In the case of water, they only think to drill holes in the ground and get more and more water. Anyway, sustainable agriculture is not their priority at all.

So, what should we do?

For finding the answer, we need to pay attention to that, the best opportunities appear when facing big problems. So, developing, encouraging, and supporting responsibility in farming, agri-food practices, and all over the value chain activities are musts that contain a lot of opportunities also. When we redefine or modify agri-food value chain relationships, we would be able to create value and return more money to fund farming projects and agri-businesses to grow crops and produce food under the responsibility principles. It would be a real movement and creates real changes because you can convince farmers that sustainable farming will save our planet and also is enough to cover the costs of farmer’s life.

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