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Ideas for Climate-Friendly Food Production

Agriculture produces a lot of the greenhouse gasses that scientists link to rising temperatures and climate change. Agriculture can also be hurt by the effects of climate change. A new report says high temperatures and unpredictable weather are disrupting agriculture in many parts of the world.

The report is called "Innovations in Sustainable Agriculture: Supporting Climate-Friendly Food Production." The Worldwatch Institute in Washington published it. The report suggests ways that the agriculture industry could reduce its effects on the environment.

Danielle Nierenberg was one of the report's authors. She says industrial agriculture uses a lot of fossil fuels. She says the chemicals used in fertilizers, pesticides and transportation depend on fossil fuels. Danielle Nierenberg says animal production has an especially big effect on the environment. She notes that the amount of meat being eaten in countries like Brazil, China and India is growing.

As a result, more industrial animal facilities or factory farms are being built in the developing world. Those big farms need fossil fuels to operate. They also require long-distance transportation. She said all those things can contribute to climate change.

The report recommends six land and water use practices that it says are sustainable. These include growing trees on farmland to reduce soil erosion and planting cover crops to make soil less affected by drought, heat and pests. Other recommended practices include recycling wastewater in cities, drip irrigation, and replacing chemical with natural fertilizer.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 15Jan2013)