Comparative regional studies of agricultural emissions per unit of GDP or per hectare or per capita would show significant differences but as a result of local farming systems, climate, and management techniques employed, a useful comparison between regions is not possible. Standard methods for measuring and reporting of agricultural emissions are being developed and will enable more accurate and useful comparisons to be made between alternative production systems in the future (Kroeze and Mosier, 1999).
Developing countries are slowly moving towards using modern food and fibre production techniques. Economies in transition are also implementing modern production methods encouraged by foreign investors but many challenges remain. From a sustainability point of view, traditional methods may well be preferable.
A summary of the technical and market potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural industry is given in Table 3.36. If agricultural production per hectare in developing countries could be increased to meet the growing food and fibre demand as a result of a greater uptake of new farming techniques, modern technologies and improved management systems, then there would be less incentive for deforestation to provide more agricultural land.
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