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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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Unleashing the energy efficiency potential of the food chain

Notwithstanding progress, substantial potential for improving energy efficiency exists across the food chain. The existence of multiple barriers – policy, structural, behavioural and funding – discourages the private sector, including farmers, from making the best economic decisions. This chapter discusses these barriers and examines policies which could improve the energy efficiency of the food chain. Selected examples of country initiatives are also presented. Policies that seek to improve energy efficiency must also consider the synergies and trade-offs with policies addressing such issues as productivity, water use, and health and food safety.

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