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The State of Food and Agriculture 2007

Paying Farmers for Environmental Services

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2007

The State of Food and Agriculture 2007 explores the potential for agriculture to provide enhanced levels of environmental services alongside the production of food and fibre. The report concludes that demand for environmental services from agriculture – including climate change mitigation, improved watershed management and biodiversity preservation – will increase in the future, but better incentives to farmers are needed if agriculture is to meet this demand.

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Conclusions

This issue of The State of Food and Agriculture has examined the role of agriculture in the provision of ecosystem services. These include all outputs from agricultural activities, ranging from food production to climate regulation. Many of these services are provided only as externalities; that is, they are unintended consequences of the production of food or fibre. These services, which we refer to as environmental services, are normally not compensated for. Therefore farmers lack incentives to supply them in the desired quantity.

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