Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who Will Be The Carbon Farmers?

Not every farmer will want to get involved in trading farm carbon offsets. In fact, at least 25% have already decided not to, according to a recent survey by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC). The study, called Decisions Made By Farmers That Relate To Climate Change, found there are three types of response to the need to change practices: ignore it (26%), want to do something but can’t afford it (19%), want to do something but need support (55%). This last group – called ‘Cash-poor long-term adaptors’ - tend to believe Climate Change is real and man-made and that we have a responsibility to do something about it. They are information seekers and intend to farm more sustainably if they can get support. They tend to have larger farms (average 5000 ha) than the other groups (1600 ha and 2700 ha), and they rely less on off-farm income. They average 55 years of age, their health is good and they feel up to handling change. So, the majority of farmers (74%) want to change to meet the challenge of Climate Change, but need financial support to do so. That is what farm carbon offsets from the Carbon Farming Initiative and the $1.8bn in adjustment funding from the Carbon Tax are designed to deliver to farmers. Now that’s something you won’t hear from rural politicians or regional press outlets. Get the full story at the Carbon Farming Conference, 28-29 September, 2011 at Dubbo NSW.

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