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CFAD releases new white paper

CFAD provides recommendations to maintain and expand climate-smart practices.

The AGree Climate, Food, and Agriculture Dialogue (CFAD) has released a new white paper. Recognizing Early Innovators: Recommendations for Maintaining and Expanding Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices provides insights and recommendations for early innovators of climate-smart practices.

“As we increase investments in climate-smart agriculture, we cannot forget about the farmers and ranchers who paved the way for conservation,” said Heather Lair, Partner at Meridian Institute and CFAD leader, in a news release. “We developed these recommendations to inform policy efforts to expand adoption of climate-smart practices, ensure existing progress by early innovators is maintained, and encourage continued innovation to develop and test new practices. CFAD believes the most sustainable way to build this system is to embed incentives for the adoption and maintenance of climate-smart agricultural practices throughout agricultural markets, finance systems, regulatory processes, and insurance programs.”

The paper outlined several recommendations including:

  • Agricultural lenders should recognize the economic benefits of conservation practice adoption, including improved soil health and reduced agricultural risk, when offering loan terms to producers.
  • Ecosystem markets that allow producers to generate both carbon credits and other ecosystem services credits from the same project should be explored to create stacked incentives.
  • USDA should continue to explore the development of climate-smart commodity markets that reward early innovators through new market mechanisms.
  • USDA and Congress should systematically work to expand and improve existing conservation programs.

CFAD believes national agriculture-climate policies should recognize early innovators while engaging new growers in climate-smart practices. As whole-of-government approaches are taken to recognize climate change, the food and agriculture and forestry sectors must be at the table working to expand climate-smart practices.

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