A collaborative joint sector program is being launched in a first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage small farmers to undertake environmentally sustainable agriculture practices, notably in rice-growing areas of the nation. Farmers will be capable to earn carbon credit score for utilizing low tillage and direct seeding methods.
Grow Indigo (GIPL), a three way partnership between seed large Mahyco and US-based Indigo, is spearheading the carbon farming initiative. Initially, the scheme would give attention to rice-growing areas in Punjab and Haryana, earlier than increasing to incorporate Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
Farmers within the necessary rice-growing area could also be eligible for carbon credit in the event that they implement sustainable measures that scale back greenhouse fuel emissions and enhance soil carbon absorption.
“We’ve brought 4,000 hectares into the carbon farming program in Punjab, and an MoU with Haryana will be signed soon,” Usha Zehr, GIPL’s government director, informed FE. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) will contribute its experience in distant sensing know-how to the venture’s satellite tv for pc surveillance of rice fields registered by farmers to confirm their claims of utilizing sustainable strategies.
The carbon customary (Verra) protocol, which is a worldwide voluntary GHG discount program, will probably be used to certify this system, in response to Zehr. The carbon credit score will probably be granted to farmers based mostly on certification. GIPL will even help farmers in promoting their produce at a better worth.
“Efforts by farmers to adopt regenerative agriculture practices would be appropriately rewarded through this unique initiative,” stated Ashok Kumar Singh, director of the IARI. This concept, in response to Singh, would possibly develop a marketplace for carbon buying and selling for Indian farmers.
Farmers’ carbon credit might be bought by corporations resembling aviation, mining, and fertilizer makers who’re unable to reduce their carbon footprints as a result of nature of their enterprise.
Estimates say that the worth of 1 carbon credit score is round $10.
With an anticipated manufacturing of 127.93 million tons (mt) within the 2021-22 crop 12 months (July-June), India can be the world’s second-largest rice producer behind China, whereas India stays the world’s largest rice exporter with estimated exports of greater than 17 mt in 2021-22.
Microbes in flooded rice fields produce methane, in response to scientists, a part of which is discharged into the environment. Soil fertility has plummeted on account of the intensive farming follow adopted after the Green Revolution. If paddy straw just isn’t burned and as an alternative returned to the soil, the soil’s natural carbon content material will increase, boosting fertility.
In a current assertion, agro digital platform nurture.farm stated it had offered 20,000 carbon models constituted of agricultural waste, marking the primary time an Indian firm had joined the worldwide carbon market via agriculture.
Nurture.farm’s Business Head and COO, Dhruv Sawhney, acknowledged. Because it’s the world’s second-largest producer of crucial staples resembling rice, wheat, fruit, and greens, India is well-positioned to pioneer agriculture-related carbon credit score buying and selling. Sawhney added, “India is also the world’s third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases.”