21 March 2022, Bengaluru: nurture.farm, a digital platform for sustainable agriculture, has become the first company to successfully generate and forward sell agricultural-related carbon credits in India.
nurture.farm’s Alternate Wetting and Drying & Dry Seeded Rice (AWD-DSR) project covered 22,000 acres of rice paddy fields and involved over 2,500 smallholder farmers. This initiative forms a crucial part of nurture.farm’s mission to transition farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices, and reduce the environmental impact of rice cultivation. 20,000 carbon credits were derived from this AWD-DSR project. Its benefits included 15% to 30% of water savings.
Another 120,000 credits are under process from the Crop Residue Management (CRM) Program. The CRM Program empowered over 25,000 farmers to prevent 420,000 acres of farmland being burnt, thereby preventing the generation of 2,135 tonnes of particulate matter, including PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulate matter.
nurture.farm’s AWD-DSR program is now being submitted to a global validation agency, and in two quarters’ time to the Verified Carbon Standard (Verra) for final verification and credit generation. The CRM Program will follow suit, with submission to the validation agency in the next quarter.
During the last cropping season (Rabi), nurture.farm expanded the AWD-DSR program across an additional 120,000 acres. The company plans to create more carbon credits by further extending its projects. In 2022, nurture.farm’s CRM Program will cover at least one million acres, while it will scale up its AWD-DSR project to 180,000 acres. nurture.farm has set a target to help Indian farmers generate one million carbon credits by 2023, thereby being the leading supplier of nature-based carbon credits in India.
Dhruv Sawhney, Business Head and COO of nurture.farm, said “India is well-placed to pioneer agriculture-related carbon credit trading. India is the world’s second-largest producer of key staples including rice, wheat, fruit and vegetables, and agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for over 50% of the population. And yet, India is also the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.”
“At nurture.farm we are firm believers that sustainable agriculture practices have the potential to reduce emissions and also become a net sink. Thus the smallholder farmers can become the champions of our global decarbonisation efforts. This is why we have pioneered an integrated ecosystem stretching across the entire sector, which is creating new livelihoods for rural economies, empowering women, and advancing sustainable practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure food security.”
“As the first agriculture company to successfully generate and forward-sell carbon credits in India, we are unlocking new opportunities and outcomes for farming communities and setting the bar for our industry as a whole. Demand for credible carbon credits from the voluntary carbon markets can drive massive shifts to sustainable agricultural practices across India and the rest of the world. We look forward to working with more farming communities this year as we scale up our CRM and AWD-DSR programs – making farmers more resilient by securing better yields, improved soil health, and enhanced livelihoods.”
Since its launch in 2020, more than 1.5 million farmers – who are collectively responsible for over five million acres – use the nurture.farm platform to access the mechanisation services, technology, training, services, market linkages, finance agri-inputs and farm equipment they need to perform sustainable agricultural practices.
nurture.farm is currently developing protocols for verifying traceable carbon credits through its online platform and will use blockchain technology to trade credits on carbon markets. During the course of 2022, nurture.farm will also establish a common carbon credits registry and trading platform, which utilises a standardised methodology to simplify traceability and make verification easier.