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Typically smallholder production is assumed to require a large rural workforce. Will this still be available as urbanization procedes and food prices necessarily increase with demand from growing cities?
This pair of economic and population forces drove consolidation of agriculture into larger farms in every (?) urbanized country to date - what reason(s) are there to believe this will not continue to happen in countries which currently have large rural populations and smallholder predominant production?
To be honest, I get very confused by the terminology. "Climate Smart", "Ecological", "Sustainable" can all be "Intensified" - but the general issue is the same. Do we need to intensify and if so how?
So an answer to question one for me would be to focus on the key issues of national land management - soil quality improvement, how much forest cover, how much space for biodiversity and agri-food policy (how much food/nutrition production do we actually want).
Specific questions of what trees, biodiversity or food stuffs to produce and how come later and must be done on an individual farm basis. E.g. a farm may choose to raise yields and income with extra fertilizer or take extra income from eco-services.
Good data from farms about these factors (so we can aggregate data to the national level) plus high quality individual farm outreach are fundamental to translate national land policy into action in ways that suit local conditions and farmer goals. A two-way conversation.
See www.siplatform.org.uk for current work in the UK on this concept.
From a UK perspective, there are two broad approaches towards PES.
The first is long established and linked to the EU's common agriculture policy - the stewardship schemes run by Natural England that reward farmers for following certain specified pro-biodiversity etc. practices. There is some on-going investigation towards expanding these schemes to encompass climate change mitigation. The existing scheme, in my opinion, lacks for robust data and farm audit process regarding the measurable impact of the ecosystem services created.
The second is a more recent private, voluntary programme that I've been involved in. Essentially I've been auditing large-scale, increasingly national-level farm carbon footprint measurement and management programmes - typically based around livestock. These are not linked (as yet) to payments, but do show what might be involved in running a cost-effective PES.
For a livestock mitigation programme, the extent of data required and achieving suitable quality of data is critical - particularly when budgets are small.
For an arable mitigation programme, the key factors for me are balancing yield against inputs. Anything which increases yield whilst maintaining or reducing the inputs required is a positive thing and can be measured quite cost effectively. I would include in this list soil improvement as part of a sequestration programme - I believe that any benefit from such a programme will create much more value, more simply, for the farmer via lower costs and increased yields from better soil than carbon credits or direct PES.
PES in my view are typically best targeted at research, capacity building and farmer engagement programmes that will enable them to generate win-win scenarios of better soil and lower emissions accompanied by increased production and profits.