Biotech Updates

"Energy-smart" Agriculture Needed to Escape Fossil Fuel Trap

December 2, 2011

According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Report Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate, the food sector around the globe has an over dependence on fossil fuels that may limit the sector's ability to meet global food demands. With the high and fluctuating prices of fossil fuels there is a need for new strategies such as the "energy-smart" model. Several recommendations were suggested in every step of food production such as the use of more efficient engines, use of compost and precision fertilizers, irrigation monitoring and targeted water delivery, adoption of no-till farming practices and the use of less-input-dependent crop varieties and animal breeds.

The FAO believes however that transitioning to an energy-smart agricultural sector will be a "huge undertaking" that needs to be started soon. The agency's recommendations on the Advocacy has now evolved into an approach based on three pillars: (i) providing energy access for all with a focus on rural communities; (ii) improving energy efficiency at all stages of the food supply chain; and (iii) substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy systems in the food sector.

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