It was my pleasure to be at the Grain Growers of Canada meeting this morning when the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation announced it is providing $252,500 to support the second phase of a project led by the Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) called Farming 4R Land. The project will help Alberta farmers improve yields, reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to fertilizer use and generate offset credits. This project is funded through the Biological Greenhouse Gas Management Program that is delivered on behalf of the CCEMC by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions.
Farming 4R Land Phase II supports implementation of Alberta’s Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol (NERP), which enables farmers to qualify for carbon offsets within the Alberta offset protocol system. The project encourages broader adoption of CFI best management practices called 4RNutrient Stewardship – using the Right source, at the Right rate, at the Right time, and in the Right place®. In the process, farmers will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and with appropriate documentation, may generate offset credits as well. “Generally, if a farmer improves their best management practices when it comes to fertilizer use, our very conservative estimate is they can reduce their N2O (nitrous oxide) emissions by 15 to 25 percent,” said CFI Vice President of Strategy and Alliances, Clyde Graham. The project aims to have enough acreage qualified under Alberta’s Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol to support offset transactions equal to 25,000 tonnes CO2e by the end of 2014.
Last week in New York the first Open Working Groups began to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015. In an effort to inform the SDGs, Farming First has launched a creative infographic that skips forward in time to 2030, when the SDGs will be set to expire to show what the future of food and farming could look like, depending on decisions made now.
Just as you must decide on a location before you set out on a journey, when setting goals you must be certain of what you are trying to achieve. With that in mind – why don’t we reposition the “post-2015” agenda, and instead think about the measures we must put in place “pre-2030”? The infographic gives us this clear view of what we must achieve in terms for food, people and the planet by 2030, and how innovations in agriculture can help get us there.
What does the world look like for food and farming in 2030?
Take a look at the Farming First Infographic.
During the World Food Prize a panel of five farmers, several of whom I know well and admire greatly, discussed how they are responding to the challenges which global climate change will pose to their farms. The Farming First (www.farmingfirst.org) synopsis is below:
The panel was chaired by Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, who said in her opening remarks, “If there was any panel that my grandfather would be most interested to attend, this would be it”. Dr Borlaug was the main catalyst in launching the green revolution in the mid-20th century.
Coming from Africa, South Asia, Latin America and Europe, the five farmer panelists all discussed the ways in which more erratic and extreme weather as a result of climate change is affecting them and the need for new approaches to farming.
The Prairie Oat Growers Association and I were honoured to visit Grupo Vida headquarters in Guadalajara. Grupo Vida is the second largest oat company in the world and have bought important milling assets in Canada.
The oat growers had over 15 meetings with Mexican companies and invaluable visits with the AAFC team in the Embassy in Mexico City, led by Kim O’Neill. Juan-Carlos Munoz at the consulate in Guadalajara was similarly invaluable.
POGA is developing a long term strategy to increase the annual share of Canadian oats in the market.
Collaboration efforts in agriculture continue to accelerate as the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council is working together with the Bean Council on an American Pulse Association. It is great news particularly in light of the Pulse Health Initiative. Tim McGreevy, CEO of the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council explained some of the key elements of the initiative to the International Food Trader magazine.
An American Pulse Association would provide support in three areas of importance to the pulse industry.
“One of the first needs that we have is to address a significant lack of health and nutrition research on these crops. Some of the money under this initiative would go to study the real nutritional benefits of consuming these crops in relation to obesity and associated diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers,” says McGreevy. Read More