How does agriculture act as an agent of climate solution?

Do you know?

Agriculture in India is responsible for around 17% of the country’s gross domestic product and employs approximately 60% of the population. It not only enables people to earn a living but also enables us to feed ourselves and has the potential to reduce the negative consequences of climate change. Lands used for agriculture can absorb and store significant quantities of carbon, which may be one answer to the problem of climate change on a worldwide scale. 

Understood, but what’s the buzz around Carbon?

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A recent study found that agricultural land can store four times as much carbon as other types of land. Adopting agricultural methods that can help with absorbing and sequestering carbon can help us minimize the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere due to human activity.

How to tackle this problem?

Tillage systems have been used for a long time to get ready for planting, get rid of weeds, get rid of dead plants, and loosen up the soil on the surface. Even though tillage can be a key part of a successful and profitable agroecological business, minimizing mechanical operations and soil disturbance in a field can lead to benefits like less soil erosion and the pollution it causes in the air and water, and less money spent on fuel. Leaving crop residue on the surface of the soil all year can protect it from wind and water erosion, runoff, and the loss of particulate matter and nutrients, which is good for the air and water quality. 

Reducing tillage can boost biological activity, make the soil hold more water, improve its texture, and hold more organic matter. Farmers growing crops based on organic farming systems rely on crop rotations, the use of crop residues and animal manure in place of synthetic fertilizers, and biological control to manage pests and diseases. Organic contributes to the preservation of environmental health, improves the health of the soil, and also reduces the costs associated with agricultural product.

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Precision farming is another method that makes use of information technology to increase agricultural production, quality, and yield overall. This is accomplished by optimizing the efficiency with which water, fertilizer, and pesticides are applied to the crop. The use of conservation farming techniques, such as direct seeding and the responsible management of straw, helps to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and increases the amount of carbon in the soil. This captured carbon is then converted into plant material or soil organic matter, which will improve the soil’s health and increase the agricultural land’s potential to provide food in the future. By increasing the amount of carbon that is stored in the soil, agricultural techniques have the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions from different sources. It has been proven that conservation and reducing tillage, organic farming, expanding crop rotations, and growing cover crops can all minimize the carbon footprint left by agriculture while simultaneously collecting excess carbon produced by other sources. Farmers that employ agricultural strategies that entail minimal soil disturbance and that favor the collection and storage of carbon in soils may be able to contribute to a reduction in the amount of carbon that is lost from their fields.

You must be wondering if we have started implementing these strategies. 

You will be surprised to know that…

According to the findings of a study that Robert Zomer and his colleagues carried out, “India is one of the countries that has one of the greatest levels of biomass carbon stored on agricultural land. ” This is because tropical countries like India adopt a farming method known as agroforestry, which incorporates trees into agricultural fields and makes a major contribution to the carbon pool on agricultural lands. 

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National Agroforestry Policy, which was enacted in 2014 and serves to encourage the use of agroforestry in India, makes India the first country in the world to formulate an agroforestry policy. A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an improvement in the quality of the soil are two additional benefits that will result from the practice of agroforestry for smallholder farming systems.

A growing number of agricultural start-up companies are making it their mission to educate farmers about environmentally friendly farming practices. These new businesses are also helping with emissions or carbon trading, which provides a source of cash for farmers who continue to engage in initiatives that reduce emissions. If the agricultural industry implements innovative solutions and sustainable business practices, it has the potential to increase crop yields while simultaneously reducing the negative effects of climate change. 

After the green revolution in the late 1960s, India was one of the first emerging countries to ensure food security and expand self-sufficiency in food grain production as an early priority, which made it one of the first developing countries to emphasize these aims overall. Appropriate agricultural practices and incentive systems must be developed to encourage farmers to adopt sustainable practices. These practices have the potential to transform agriculture into a solution to the problem of climate change. Therefore, farmers must be encouraged to adopt these practices.

With this, we come to an end…

Undoubtedly, Climate change causes a range of effects, from altering weather patterns and affecting food production, to raising sea levels, which increases the likelihood of flooding. If urgent action is not taken today, adjusting to these repercussions in the future will be a more difficult and expensive process. Agriculture has the potential to become one of the solutions to the problem of climate change globally.

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