Australia: carbon tax a worry for intensive farming
QFF CEO Dan Galligan said many farmers had already achieved significant efficiencies to reduce carbon emissions in recent years.
"From what we have seen of the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), which is aimed at helping farmers participate in carbon markets, there is limited opportunity for intensive farms to participate," he said.
"The nature of intensive farming systems means that these farms have little ability to, say, plant numerous hectares of trees to sequester carbon. A lot of efficiencies with our inputs have already been achieved in recent years.
"Yet these farms will still bear the impact of the carbon tax, given the utmost importance of energy inputs into the farming system."
Galligan said there were also questions about what point a carbon tax would make the CFI activities worthwhile.
"Below that point, and it isn’t worth farmers’ time and money. Above that point, there is a risk of perverse outcomes in terms of losing food and fibre production.
"There is a vigorous debate about food security and strategic cropping land occurring at the moment. The last thing we need to add to these concerns is a policy that turns productive food and fibre farms into carbon farms.
"We support the CFI where it is sensible and can be integrated into existing farming systems, as well as the investments in research and biodiversity. But, at the same time, a purely carbon farm won’t put food on the table. It won’t produce clothes to keep us warm."
Photo: Eco News