Kerala becomes first state to introduce carbon neutral farming
On Dec 10, Pinarayi Vijayan, declared that Kerala has registered another first to its name. This time it is a seed farm, going net zero. Back in March 2022, he shared the target of implementing carbon neutral farming methods in Kerala. Also, 6 crore rupees were allocated for this in the 2022–23 budget.
About the carbon neutral farm
The seed farm is situated on Thuruthu Island in Aluva, a town in Kerala. The government in a tweet declared, “For the last 10 years, no chemical fertilizers or pesticides were used in the farm at any stage of seed production”. And since then, several measures have been taken to reduce the carbon footprint of the farm.
In the present day, not only did they manage to achieve carbon neutrality but carbon negativity as well, i.e., more carbon has been procured than emitted. If talked about in figures, the Kerala Agricultural University College of Climate Change and Environmental Science confirmed that the seed farm has made 43 tonnes of carbon emissions, but the overall procurement was 213 tons. That means they now have carbon credits of 170 tons.
Before we dig further, let us know what carbon neutral farming is
Carbon-neutral farming implies a net-zero balance of emissions and absorption into the farm itself. Quoted simply, if a farm emits 10 tons of GHGs, then same or its equivalent has to be consumed back into the farm itself.
To achieve this, a farm should not emit more CO2 than it can absorb naturally.
How did they achieve this?
With the help of the agriculture department, the government aimed to achieve the net zero target. And for this, they targeted a switch to organic agricultural activities and improve soil quality.
To achieve this, they first began by adopting integrated farming, where crops were grown along with poultry, livestock, and fish. This helped in providing manure to the farm and controlling pests and diseases. Next, they switched to precision farming methods and rotation of crops, along with implementing fertigation.
Also, for all the energy requirements like irrigation, dryers, processing, etc., they shifted to solar energy.
What is the roadmap?
As stated by the CM, carbon neutral farming was supposed to be done in two phases. In the first phase the farming technique is supposed to be brought into action in 13 farms and simultaneously the Aluva’s seed farm was under experiment of net-zero only. In the second phase, carbon neutral farms will be set up in all 140 assembly constituencies.
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