Indian farmers rack up carbon credits with climate-conscious ways

(Context, 21 Nov 2023) Some Indian farmers are switching to sustainable ways of growing food, generating carbon credits in the process by slashing climate-heating emissions.

Indian farmer Jitendra Singh proudly holds up a rice stem on his farm of lush green paddy. "Look at the height and health of this plant - the number of florets on it is amazing," he said.

Located in the northern state of Haryana, one of India’s main rice and wheat-growing regions, Singh's 80-acre (32.4-hectare) farm is part of a gradual shift in how Indians cultivate their staple crops, from a model that is fertiliser and water-intensive to more natural, climate-friendly ways.

What convinced middle-aged traditional farmer Singh to change how he grows rice was the prospect of benefiting from another fledgling movement: generating carbon credits through sustainable agriculture to sell for additional income.

“The new method of rice cultivation is not only helping my land regain its fertility - it is also helping fight global warming,” Singh said. He expects to be among the first tranche of Indian farmers to receive payments from the carbon market.

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Context, 21 Nov 2023: Indian farmers rack up carbon credits with climate-conscious ways