Farmers must meet the changing needs of our planet and the expectations of regulators, consumers, and food processors and retailers.

There are increasing pressures from climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss and from consumers’ changing tastes in food and concerns about how it is produced. And the natural world that farming works with – plants, pests and diseases – continue to pose their own challenges.

While modern agriculture provides a large number of solutions, the outcome is not always the same because each farm is unique: different landscapes, soils, available technology and potential yields.

What kind of problems do farmers face?

Farmers need to deal with many problems, including how to:

  • Cope with climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss
  • Satisfy consumers’ changing tastes and expectations
  • Meet rising demand for more food of higher quality
  • Invest in farm productivity
  • Adopt and learn new technologies
  • Stay resilient against global economic factors
  • Inspire young people to stay in rural areas and become future farmers

Farmers must adapt to climate change

The effects of climate change affect farmers’ ability to grow the food we all need. Increasingly volatile weather and more extreme events – like floods and droughts – change growing seasons, limit the availability of water, allow weeds, pests and fungi to thrive, and can reduce crop productivity.

Soil erosion is reducing the amount of land available for agriculture, and declining biodiversity affects the pollination of crops. At the same time, farmers are under pressure to conserve water and use fewer agricultural inputs.

As they adapt to these changes, farmers also need to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions contributed by agriculture through adopting climate-smart practices – a new learning journey for many.

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