For the Court of Auditors, adapting agriculture to world warming requires “in-depth” transformations | EUROtoday

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Harvesting a wheat field in Sainte-Foy-d'Aigrefeuille (Haute-Garonne), in June 2022.

Nine days after the closing of the doorways of the International Agricultural Show, whereas the anger of farmers has not utterly subsided, the Court of Auditors remembers, in its annual report, revealed Tuesday March 12 and devoted, in 2024, to adaptation to world warming, vulnerabilities of agricultural sectors.

The challenges for the sector, to which the magistrates commit a chapter, are quite a few: methods to shield soil fertility in a context the place climatic hazards are rising? How can we protect the yields of crops which might be more and more depending on irrigation, when water assets have gotten scarce? How can we reconcile the preservation of the surroundings with the crucial of meals sovereignty, which the federal government has made a nationwide precedence in response to the agricultural disaster?

The court docket report focuses solely on cereal crops, recalling that this sector, half of whose manufacturing is meant for export, is strategic. For round twenty years, cereal crops have already suffered the implications of local weather change, which additionally has results on different sectors, the report emphasizing their sturdy interdependence: first with regard to livestock, as a result of half of the cereals consumed in France are supposed to feed animals, but in addition oilseed crops (rapeseed, sunflower) or legumes, that are a part of crop rotations.

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The court docket report factors out that yields have already began to stagnate, notably for comfortable wheat and corn, for the reason that early Nineties. “The impact of improving species through genetic selection is now offset by the hazards of climate change, which make growing conditions increasingly difficult to anticipate”, writes the court docket, which emphasizes that this stagnation in yields can be because of soil degradation, because of the intensification of practices. According to numerous modeling works recognized by the magistrates of Rue Cambon, the areas of the south of France are these that are almost certainly to see their yields drop.

Lack of funding monitoring

One of the principle areas of pressure issues water assets. Cereals occupied, in 2020, half of the irrigated cultivation areas in France, which themselves signify 6.8% of the full agricultural space, and conflicts of use are rising: in the summertime interval, in sure basins, the Agricultural use represents greater than 90% of the water consumed, remembers the court docket. The report highlights that water storage works supposed for irrigation “may, in certain cases, present a risk of mal-adaptation to climate change, depending on their size, their location and their method of filling”and cites different initiatives, such because the R'Garonne program, in Haute-Garonne, aimed toward recharging groundwater utilizing infiltration units.

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