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Transforming the Yardstick Used to Measure Benefits From the Farm Sector

Moving Beyond Per-hectare Yield

Traditional systems of accounting for agricultural productivity focus solely on yield-based contributions and totally ignore the biodiversity and ecosystem services derived from agriculture. The study uses a framework and approaches developed under ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) AgriFood ‘initiative to demonstrate the hidden values of Agri-systems through valuation of agro-ecological elements using subsidies for hidden costs and incentivizing unaccounted benefits. These unaccounted benefits could be monetized through policy and economic instruments to supplement farmers’ income. The paper recommends a mix of policy and fiscal interventions such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) or Remuneration of Positive Externalities (RPE), tax rebates, and subsidies which can promote sustainable agricultural practices.

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