Are greenhouse gas emissions a reason to keep Africa starving?

Watts Up With That?

Agricultural revolution in Africa could increase global carbon emissions

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Productivity-boosting agricultural innovations in Africa could lead to an increase in global deforestation rates and carbon emissions, a Purdue University study finds.

Historically, improvements in agricultural technology have conserved land and decreased carbon emissions at the global level: Gaining better yields in one area lessens the need to clear other areas for crops, sidestepping a land conversion process that can significantly raise the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Agricultural advances in Africa, however, could have the reverse effect, increasing globally the amount of undeveloped land converted to cropland and raising greenhouse gas emissions, said Thomas Hertel, a distinguished professor of agricultural economics.

“Increasing productivity in Africa – a carbon-rich region with low agricultural yields – could have negative effects on the environment, especially if agricultural markets are highly integrated,” he said. “This…

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