Dreyfus Brazil CEO says tackling deforestation involves compensating farmers

An aerial view of a tract of Amazon jungle after it was cleared by farmers in Itaituba, Para, Brazil September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

SAO PAULO, June 28 (Reuters) - Commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Brazil's chief executive said on Tuesday that if society wants to tackle deforestation seriously, mechanisms need to be put in place to compensate farmers for conserving trees.

Murilo Parada told an audience at the World-Agritech South America Summit in Sao Paulo that the development of a carbon market would be key to protect the environment and curb climate change in one of the world's biggest food producers.

"We need to create incentives for the grower, for the farmer that needs to produce more," Parada said.

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Brazil already has environmental laws that protect the majority of forest areas, Parada said, adding that it falls on the grower to look after that area.

He also said having to tell farmers not to cut down trees in certain regions, even though they have the right to, "is a challenge of the private sector."

Parada said strengthening voluntary carbon markets, whereby financial incentives will be channeled to farmers in Brazil - the world's biggest producer of staples like soybeans, coffee and orange juice - was the way forward.

He said the government and the private sector needed to do a better job of promoting the country's sustainable agriculture efforts.

For example, the majority of Brazil's production is already "no till", a farming technique which improves soil health and mitigates climate change, while Brazil also does crop rotation.

"We need to be doing more just to show how the production systems in Brazil are," he said, advocating for better measurement and presentation of data, both by the private sector and the government.

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Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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