World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data

World Economics - Insight , Analysis and Data
Can Agriculture Become an Environmental Asset?
Daniel W. Bromley
World Economics, September 2000

Traditional treatments see agricultural practices as inimical to many environmental attributes in rural areas. In the policy arena, farmers and environmentalists often clash over land-use practices, crop monoculture, animal wastes, and the application of chemicals – the residues of which are said to contaminate the environment and threaten human well-being. The existence of agricultural abundance in the OECD countries provides an opportunity to rethink old beliefs and attitudes, as well as to reformulate traditional policy approaches to agriculture-environment interactions. This requires seeing agriculture as a land-management activity, with production of food and fibre taking a secondary role. Economic incentives and property rights issues will require reconsideration.
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