A recent UN report, which I wrote about recently in Treehugger has found that almost 90% of the subsidies given to farmers around the globe each year are harmful to people and the planet.
Thinking about how we can overhaul current farming subsidies around the world is crucial to creating the future we all wish to see. Of course, we can incentivise sustainable practices like agroforestry, regenerative farming and other agro-ecological schemes, to support farmers and growers in making the changes within the industry that are so urgently required.
Another interesting thing to think about is the concept of paying farmers for the number of people they nourish rather than the number of tonnes of a particular yield they generate. A ‘number nourished’ metric could be very useful.
Here in Scotland, vast areas of productive agriculture land are not used to grow wheat for bread, but rather utilised to fuel cars (bioethanol) or make alcoholic drinks. Similar issues see large areas of agricultural land given over to products which do not provide local communities with the nutrition they need.
By rewarding farmers for actually feeding the communities nearby, we could begin to rebuild the connection between people and the food they eat, and boost the resilience of local communities and growers.