Climate Change

Union government launches framework to promote voluntary carbon markets in agriculture

Minister Arjun Munda requests full cooperation from all quarters to promote carbon markets in the interest of farmers

By Shagun
Published: Tuesday 30 January 2024
Photo: @MundaArjun / X

The central government launched a framework to promote voluntary carbon markets in the agriculture sector on January 29, 2024.

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda, while launching the ‘Framework for Voluntary Carbon Market in Agriculture Sector and Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries’, said it has been prepared with a view to encouraging small and medium farmers to avail benefits of carbon credits.

“Introducing farmers to the carbon market will not only benefit them but also accelerate the adoption of environment-friendly agricultural practices,” the minister said.

Carbon markets are systems designed to place a price on carbon emissions and create economic incentives for emission reduction, also known as ‘carbon credits’.

Munda, while launching the framework, requested full cooperation from the concerned ministries of the Centre and states and other concerned organisations to promote carbon markets in the interest of farmers.

“This is the first step in which we want to ensure everyone’s participation. Global challenges like global warming are in front of all of us; hence we have to move ahead with caution,” he said.

He also asked the Indian Institute of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to play an active role in this direction and “do good work in a right manner”. While it has been launched on January 29, more details on how it will be introduced within the sector were awaited.

Read Investigation: Indian voluntary carbon market may not benefit people, climate

Around 54.6 per cent of the country’s workforce is engaged in agriculture and allied sectors’ activities, with the share of the agriculture sector in the gross domestic product being 18.6 per cent. The sown area was 139.3 million hectares, out of the total geographical area of the country.

In October 2023, an investigation by Down To Earth (DTE) and the Centre for Science and Environment found several problems like the lack of robust monitoring, overestimation of emission reduction as well as lack of ownership of carbon credits, among others, with the voluntary carbon market in India. The report calls for transparency in the market, deciding clear objectives of such a market and designing rules accordingly.

Meanwhile, Munda also said the Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries will strengthen the institutional arrangements for production and certification of planting material on a large scale to promote agroforestry in the country.

He asked all stakeholders to adopt it so that quality planting material can provide assured returns and the objectives and goals of the National Agroforestry Policy can be achieved.

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