Knowledge for Development

Productive agriculture benefits more than just food security


Date: 17/12/2013


A new report, ‘The social, economic and environmental value of agricultural productivity in the European Union’, has been published by the Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture in Germany. The study assesses data on the economic, social and environmental effects of productive agriculture (which uses modern technologies such as agricultural machinery, new seed varieties, organic and/or mineral fertilizers, and plant protection products and solutions) in the EU. According to the findings, each percentage point increase in agricultural productivity in the EU: feeds more than 10 million humans per year; increases the annual social welfare generated in European agriculture by approximately 500 million; contributes €500 to the annual income of an average EU farmer; reduces net virtual land imports by about 1.2 million hectares; acts to save 220 million tons in CO2 emissions; preserves global biodiversity equivalent to fauna and flora of up to 600,000 hectares of rainforest. Switching to low input agricultural methods, with average 31 % lower yields than productive agriculture in the EU, would come at the cost of these benefits, according to the report's authors.   

(Farming Online UK, 04/11/2013)

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