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Improving Energy Efficiency in the Agro-food Chain

image of Improving Energy Efficiency in the Agro-food Chain

For a variety of reasons, energy use in the agro-food sector continues to rise, and in many countries, is highly dependent on fossil fuels, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore becoming urgent to consider how the food supply chain can improve its energy efficiency. This report analyses ways of improving energy use in the agro-food sector in relation to both producers and consumers, and puts forward a set of policy recommendations that governments can introduce to meet green growth objectives and achieve sustainable development.

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Energy use and opportunities for energy efficiency on-farm

Energy, as a production input, is an essential element affecting the profitability and competitiveness of the agricultural sector. In addition, agriculture might become an important potential source of renewable energy and thus provide significant economic opportunities for farmers and the rural economy, as well as improving the environment. This Chapter focuses on the issue of energy use and efficiency in agriculture. It presents some empirical evidence on the current situation and trends in energy consumption and energy efficiency for the agricultural sector. It also discusses the efficiency gain potential associated with different product categories (e.g. arable crops, horticulture, meats and dairy) and a number of options to improve energy efficiency on-farm are considered.

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