Carbon Farming – Careers Ready


Carbon farming can help restore ecosystems and mitigate climate change by increasing carbon storage in agricultural landscapes and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while improving agricultural productivity and soil quality.

What is carbon farming?

  • Introduction: It connects the concepts of carbon and agriculture by implementing regenerative agriculture practices.
    • This process is easy to adopt in different agro-climatic zones.
    • This can help ameliorate challenges related to soil erosion, water scarcity and climate variability.

  • Common forms of Carbon Farming: This includes Rotational Grazing, Agroforestry, Conservation Agriculture, Integrated Nutrient Management, Agro-Ecology, Livestock Management and Land Restoration. Land Restoration).

Carbon: It is found in all living organisms and many minerals. It is fundamental to life on Earth and plays an important role in various processes including photosynthesis, respiration and the carbon cycle.

Farming: It is the practice of farming land for food, fiber, fuel or other resources, growing crops and raising livestock for a living.

  • It involves a wide range of activities from planting and harvesting crops to managing livestock and maintaining agricultural infrastructure.

  • Optimal Conditions for Carbon Farming: Areas with a long growing season, adequate rainfall and adequate irrigation provide the best conditions for sequestering carbon through vegetation growth.
    • In areas with sufficient rainfall and fertile soil, Agroforestry, that is Integrating trees and shrubs with crops and Conservation Agriculture That is, the potential for carbon sequestration may be particularly high through practices such as preventing soil erosion.

Benefits of Carbon Farming

  • Diversification of Farm Income: Silvopasture (Silvopasture) and alley cropping (Alley Cropping) Agroforestry practices can diversify farm income by sequestering carbon in trees and shrubs.
  • Enhancement of soil quality: Conservation agriculture can help reduce soil erosion and increase organic content, especially in places with other intensive agricultural activities.
    • Conservation agriculture techniques include zero tillage, crop rotation, cover cropping and crop residue management.

Silvopasture: It is the integration of tree and livestock grazing operations on the same land. These systems are intensively managed for both forest products and fodder, providing short- and long-term income sources.

Alley cropping: It is defined as the planting of rows of trees or shrubs to form avenues, within which agricultural or horticultural crops are produced.

Intercropping: It is the practice of growing two or more crops side by side.

Organic Farming: In this type of farming, organic fertilizers and natural pesticides are used instead of chemicals. No genetic modification is done to increase crop yield.

  • Promoting Soil Fertility: Integrated nutrient management practices boost soil fertility and reduce emissions by using organic fertilizers and manure.
  • Resilience in Ecosystems: Agroecological approaches such as crop diversification and intercropping are beneficial for ecosystem resilience.
  • Reducing Methane Emissions: Livestock management strategies including rotational grazing, optimizing feed quality, and managing animal waste can reduce methane emissions and increase the amount of carbon stored in pasture lands.

Challenges of carbon farming

  • Limited Water Availability: This can hinder plant growth, thus limiting their ability to undergo photosynthesis.
    • For examplePractices such as cover cropping, which require additional vegetation between main crop cycles, may not be viable due to the additional water demands.
  • Carbon farming can be challenging in hot and dry regions, where water availability is limited.

Carbon Sequestration: It is a climate change mitigation technique, where CO2 is collected from power plants and other industrial processes rather than being emitted into the atmosphere. CO collected2 are stored in the subsurface with the goal of keeping them out of the atmosphere indefinitely.

  • Selection of plants for carbon sequestration: Choosing which plants to grow is also important because not all species capture and store carbon in the same amounts or with the same efficiency.
  • Financial Constraints: Farmers adopting carbon farming practices may need financial assistance to get a handle on the costs of implementing them.
    • In India, small-scale farmers may lack the resources to invest in sustainable land management practices and environmental services.

Global Carbon Farming Schemes

  • Chicago Climate Exchange and Carbon Farming Initiative, Australia: It reflects efforts to encourage carbon mitigation activities in agriculture.
    • Processes range from no-till farming (growing crops without tilling the soil) to reforestation and pollution reduction.
  • Kenya's Agricultural Carbon Project: It highlights the potential of carbon farming to address climate mitigation and adaptation and food security challenges in economically developing countries.
  • 4 per 1000 initiatives: It was launched in 2015 during the COP21 climate talks in Paris and aims to increase Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) sequestration through sustainable practices.

Government initiative to promote carbon farming

(Government Initiatives  to Boost Carbon Farming)

  • Green Credit Scheme: Its objective is to promote and support sustainable practices, including agriculture.
  • National Mission on Natural Farming (NMNF): Its There are three main objectives-
    • Sustained increase in agricultural productivity and income
    • Adaptation and resilience to climate change
    • reducing greenhouse gas emissions

What are the opportunities in India?

  • Viability of Organic Farming: Grassroots initiatives and leading agricultural research in India are demonstrating the feasibility of organic farming to sequester carbon.
    • In this regard, agro-ecological practices in India can yield significant economic benefits, with the potential to generate a value of $63 billion from approximately 170 million hectares of cultivable land.
  • Suitability Across Geographic Regions: Areas with extensive agricultural land, such as the Indo-Gangetic plains and the Deccan Plateau, are suitable for adopting carbon farming, while the hilly terrain of the Himalayan region is less favorable.

  • Coastal areas are more prone to salinization and have limited access to resources, limiting the adoption of traditional agricultural practices.
  • Enhancing Food Security: Carbon credit systems can incentivize farmers by providing additional income through environmental services.
    • Agricultural soils emit 3-8 billion tonnes of CO in 20-30 years2 Can absorb.
    • This could bridge the gap between viable emissions reductions and the inevitable stabilization of the climate.
    • Thus, carbon farming can also be a sustainable strategy to mitigate climate change and increase food security in India.


Scaling up carbon farming will require concerted efforts to address limited awareness, inadequate policy support, and technical barriers. It is in India's interest to promote carbon farming to improve soil quality, enhance biodiversity and mitigate climate change while creating economic opportunities for its adopters.

Leave a Comment

Top 5 Places To Visit in India in winter season Best Colleges in Delhi For Graduation 2024 Best Places to Visit in India in Winters 2024 Top 10 Engineering colleges, IITs and NITs How to Prepare for IIT JEE Mains & Advanced in 2024 (Copy)