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NFU Releases Report On Climate Crisis

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has released a new report focusing on the climate crisis.
Tackling the Farm Crisis and the Climate Crisis: A Transformative Strategy for Canadian Farmers and Food Systems examines the impacts of climate change on agriculture in Canada, as well as the opportunities that agriculture provides to become part of the solution.
Independent researcher and report author Darrin Qualman says we don't have climate crisis, we have a civilizational structure crisis.
"What we see in food production, in manufacturing, consumerism more generally is, we've got these linear flow systems. We've got mines, and oil wells and forests and farms at one end. We've got a long linear system of production and consumption, and then out the other end is coming a whole bunch of emissions and landfill waste and stuff ending up in oceans and water, and really that's the problem."
Key conclusions in the report include:
- The climate crisis is a threat to Canadian farms, but also an opportunity to re-orient farms to become more integrated, life-sustaining and community-sustaining
- The farm crisis and the climate crisis share many of the same causes, and many of the same solutions
- The climate crisis will increasingly impact the ability of Canadian farms to produce food
- Priority must be placed on incentivizing low-input, low-emission agricultural approaches
The report argues that a climate-friendly food system can be designed to increase farm income.
NFU says using, and paying for large quantities of fertilizers, fuels, chemicals, plastics, and other inputs have increased emissions and at the same time lowered farmers’ net incomes. The group notes that between 1985 and 2018, input costs consumed more than 95% of farm revenue and left farmers with just 5%. The amount farmers pay annually in interest to banks and other lenders roughly equals the amount paid to farmers via farm-support programs each year.
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