Carbon is a hot topic; schemes to increase income from carbon capture and storage through agriculture are multiplying. It is reasonable for any farmer to be attracted to the financial benefits of such schemes. The current ‘carbon solution’ of paying farmers will result in a few farmers getting rich, and financiers getting richer, at the expense of the taxpayer. I believe paying farmers, of whom many are simply investors, is an abstract and illusionary approach that will not meet environmental challenges.
As technology and technical education intensify, we need to remember what farming is really about: growing food that is suitable for healthy human nutrition, improving the life and culture of the people that make up our farming communities, caring for the Earth. Ensuring farmers, who have the capacity to grow good, healthy food while caring for the environment and their community, are paid fairly is the appropriate way to ensure economic stability in agriculture. Anti-social production practices that destroy environments – land, water, air – and contribute to the global crisis we face are not really solved by replacing food with carbon sequestration. Increasing humus content in biodynamic agricultural land, while growing crops and grazing, addresses both issues and is the fastest way to improve our soils, health and communities.
To consistently grow quality, delicious, mineral dense food with a natural long shelf-life, requires considerable skill. Acknowledging these skills should be reflected in the price of food and fibre.
With biodynamics and regenerative practices, we encourage capacities to grow Quality in required Quantity with the added advantage of greater consistency and less seasonal variation, using less water and sequestering more carbon.
Sequestering carbon while continuing with destructive polluting and often resource wasting practises allows global corporations to go on creating lucrative financial “instruments” they are the primary beneficiaries of.