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.




Despite unprecedented global economic growth, 1.1 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty and more than 850 million people suffer from chronic hunger while ecosystems are being threatened as never before. Poverty reduction, food security and environmental sustainability have all moved to the top of a crowded international agenda, as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals. At the same time, the close relationships among poverty, hunger and ecosystem degradation are becoming ever clearer. Most of the world’s poor people live in rural areas, many of them in marginal environments, and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Agricultural development is therefore crucial for alleviating poverty on a large scale. Such development would also require that the natural resource base on which the poor depend for their livelihoods be preserved and enhanced.


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