The NFU's Jonathan Scurlock and Ceris Jones report from the #COP21 climate conference...
To respond to Christiana Figueres, head of the UN Climate Convention, the world is indeed counting on farmers to continue meeting the needs of a growing population - but we want to be part of the climate agenda. That was the theme of this morning's farmers' meeting in the COP21 Centre, as we prepared for the first event of the Farmers Day.
Around 120 people packed into a side room to hear a wide variety of panellists, from the Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry's to farmers from Cambodia, France, Kenya and Mexico - introduced by Zambian WFO President Evelyn Nguleka, and chaired by the Kiwi WFO VP, William Rolleston.
Reflecting the findings of our NFU weather survey, Mexican coffee grower Luiz Martinez reported how producers are abandoning land because of changing weather patterns, while Kenyan producer Victor Biwot described upland tea farmers weathering both drought as well as frost and hail. Water scarcity as well as flooding has afflicted South-East Asian farmers, according to Sok Sotha of the Cambodian Farmers Association. French farmers president Xavier Beulin told us that climatic factors accounted for half of the untapped potential of wheat yields in France since the 1990s.
And the following session on Climate Smart Agriculture in Africa continued the theme, with a lively chair declaring "No agriculture, No deal!" Tomorrow's update will feature interviews with selected farming delegates from around the world.