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Carbon Farming

Published: 11th May, 2024

Context

Carbon farming, which integrates regenerative agricultural practices with carbon sequestration techniques, has gained attention due to its potential to address climate change while enhancing soil health and agricultural productivity.

1: Dimension- Significance of Carbon Farming

  • Conservation Agriculture: Techniques like zero tillage, crop rotation, and cover cropping enhance soil health and minimize disturbance.
  • Integrated Nutrient Management: Promotes soil fertility and reduces emissions using organic fertilizers and compost.
  • Agro-ecology: Encourages crop diversification and intercropping for ecosystem resilience.
  • Livestock Management: Strategies like rotational grazing and waste management reduce methane emissions and increase carbon storage.

2: Dimension- Challenges to Carbon Farming:

  • Geographical Variation: Effectiveness depends on factors like soil type, water availability, and biodiversity.
  • Water Scarcity: Hot and dry regions face challenges due to limited water resources, hindering plant growth and carbon sequestration.
  • Financial Assistance: Small-scale farmers may lack resources to invest in sustainable practices, requiring financial support for adoption.
  • Limited Awareness: Awareness about carbon farming needs to be increased among farmers and policymakers.
  • Inadequate Policy Support and financial assistance: Policies need to incentivize and support carbon farming adoption and financial assistance are limited.
  • Technological Barriers: Access to appropriate technologies is essential for effective implementation.

Fact Box:

Carbon Farming Techniques:

  • Rotational Grazing: It involves controlled movement of livestock to different pastures, enhancing soil health and carbon sequestration.
  • Agroforestry: Incorporating trees and shrubs into agricultural landscapes, diversifying income streams while sequestering carbon.
  • Conservation Agriculture: Practices like zero tillage, crop rotation, and cover cropping minimize soil disturbance and enrich organic content.
  • Others: Integrated Nutrient Management, Agro-ecology, Livestock Management, Land Restoration

Global Carbon Farming Initiatives:

  • Carbon Trading: Implemented in countries like the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to incentivize carbon mitigation in agriculture.
  • World Bank Support: Initiatives like Kenya’s Agricultural Carbon Project highlight carbon farming's potential in economically developing countries.
  • '4 per 1000' Initiative: Launched during COP21, emphasizing the role of carbon sinks in mitigating emissions.

UPSC PYQ

Q: What is/are the advantage/advantages of zero tillage in agriculture? (UPSC 2020)

  1. Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of the previous crop
  2. Without the need for the nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
  3. Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Solution: (d)

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