UN Calls For 'repurposing' Farm Subsidies Harming Environment

UN calls for 'repurposing' farm subsidies harming environment

Paris, Sept 14 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Sep, 2021 ) :Farming subsidies worth around $500 billion doled out by governments every year must be repurposed, three UN agencies warned on Tuesday, citing the environmental and social damage they cause.

Released ahead of a UN food systems summit next week, the agencies' report is a "wake-up" for governments to rethink their agricultural support schemes, Food and Agriculture Organization director general Qu Dongyu said in a statement.

Global support to producers totals $540 billion per year, according to the joint report by the FAO, the UN Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programme.

The agencies said 87 percent of that aid -- $470 billion -- is "price distorting and environmentally and socially harmful".

"Agricultural support is not providing desirable results for sustainability and human health, but repurposing it can be a game changer," the report said.

A hefty portion of the subsidies, $294 billion per year, comes in the form of price incentives resulting from import tariffs and export subsidies, it said.

Farmers also receive $245 billion in fiscal subsidies, which can lead to "negative environmental outcomes" when they are linked to the production of a specific commodity.

This aid can prompt the overuse of agrochemicals and natural resources, and the cultivation of a single crop, according to the report.