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46. Can agriculture become nature-friendly at scale? (Philippe Birker)

July 2024


Agriculture has been by far the biggest driver of land change and land degradation worldwide. And yet, it is also fundamental to the very existence of humankind. This mismatch often comes up in public discourse. Over the past year or two, for example, several European countries have seen extensive farmer protests - against rising costs and restrictive environmental regulations among other things. Environmental groups have responded to the farmers’ appeals mostly with indignation… and yet farmers and environmentalists have a lot in common - at east potentially.

Philippe Birker is co-founder of “Climate Farmers”, and his work is aimed mostly at promoting regenerative agriculture. He and I cover a range of topics in the discussion that follows, from the farmer protests to the relationship between agrochemical companies and government. Along the way, there were several “rabbit holes” that we could have gone down, and several points that I would have liked to challenge Philippe on in greater depth. But, with limited available time, I needed to bookmark most of these for another time and for future guests.

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