March 2021 Abstract This paper aims to cast a light on the nexus between the profitability of rural livelihoods and biofuels within the EU. In doing so, it focuses on putting the deep and structural relationship between rural labour and biofuels into a data driven perspective to highlight what is rarely discussed: the low wages […]
ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE
- The EU has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. Agriculture and agro-forestry have an important role to play to sequester and store carbon, and there is scope to reduce emissions using more efficient and sustainable production methods.
- Also reducing water pollution, soil erosion and preserving biodiversity can greatly benefit from these new production methods.
- Better farming systems that efficiently use nutrient resources exist, enhancing not only soil carbon but also biodiversity and improving resilience of farming to climate change itself. These measures typically increase productivity, reduce input needs, and other environmental pressures such as eutrophication and air pollution.
- Digitalisation and smart technologies are the basis for precision farming and precision agriculture optimising fertiliser and plant protection products application.
- The EU needs a “Marshall Plan” to encourage its farmers to shift to precision and digital agriculture through an ambitious program for investing in a double performance (environmental and economic) farming system – under the Pillar I Eco-Scheme in the CAP reform proposal.
- The new European Parliament should seize this opportunity to craft the new Eco-scheme to include support for farmers to move towards more sustainable production methods that reduce the environmental footprint, whilst at the same time improving economic performance. This dual performance production methods provide a brighter outlook for farmers and the environment.