Carbon Credits for Sustainable Farming in India

carbon credits in faming

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In a landmark move aimed at promoting environmentally sustainable agriculture practices, farmers in India’s key rice and wheat growing states of Punjab and Haryana are set to receive carbon credits for adopting techniques like direct seeding and low tillage. Spearheaded by Grow Indigo (GIPL), a joint venture between Mahyco and Indigo, this initiative marks a significant step towards incentivizing eco-friendly farming practices in the region.

Carbon Farming Initiative

Under the carbon farming programme, farmers who implement practices such as direct seeded rice and minimal tillage will be eligible to earn carbon credits. These credits are certified under the carbon standard protocol (Verra), a globally recognized framework for voluntary greenhouse gas reduction. Umang Agarwal, head of carbon at Grow Indigo, highlighted that farmers can choose between earning carbon credits or receiving a premium for their produce, thereby providing them with flexibility in their earnings.

Program Implementation and Expansion

Currently, over 300,000 hectares of farmland are enrolled in the programme, with plans to expand to 1.5 million hectares in the coming years. GIPL facilitates the marketing of farmers’ produce, ensuring better prices and market access. Moreover, 75% of the revenues generated from carbon credit sales are reinvested back into the farming community, fostering sustainable agricultural development.

Market Dynamics and Environmental Impact

Industries with significant carbon footprints, such as aviation and manufacturing, can purchase carbon credits from farmers, thereby offsetting their emissions. By adopting practices like direct seeding and no-tillage, farmers contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane from flooded rice fields. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute provides expertise in remote sensing technology to monitor and validate farmers’ adoption of sustainable practices.


The introduction of carbon credits for sustainable farming practices represents a paradigm shift in India’s agricultural landscape. By incentivizing eco-friendly techniques, this initiative not only mitigates environmental damage but also enhances soil fertility and farmer income. With India being a major player in global rice production and export, such initiatives hold immense potential in promoting sustainable agriculture on a broader scale. As the nation strives towards a greener future, initiatives like these are crucial steps in the right direction.

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