Environmental Defense Fund
At a Glance
Food and Agriculture, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Aishwarya Singh examined select agricultural products and commodities from an emissions-reduction perspective to identify key elements of an optimized agri-value chain for farmers.
The mitigation of emissions in agri-commodity value chains is a challenge due to the practices at the pre-production, production and post-harvest levels leading to GHG emissions. However, the adoption of climate-smart techniques and environmentally sustainable practices has the potential to reduce this.
EDF’s Climate Smart Agriculture initiative, with the support of Digital Green Trust (DGT), enlisted Aishwarya to develop a research concept note on value chains for emission-reduced agri-commodities.
Aishwarya conducted a post-detailed literature review, including expert consultations of select value chains, to identify suitable practices in reducing emissions. These included:
- Optimal application of fertilizers
- Irrigation efficiency and water management
- Pest, weed, straw/trash and tillage management
- Farmers’ awareness, extension services, and adherence to certification standards
- Supporting farmers' collectivization, cross-subsidizing certification costs, incentives & markets
Additionally, Aishwarya crafted “don’ts” to help socialize these good practices such as:
- Avoiding over-application of synthetic fertilizers; biomass or trash burning, technologies with high energy consumption
- Avoiding monocropping, farm flooding, higher tillage and weeding frequency, as well as harm to waterbodies
- Prohibiting Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs)
In the absence of exclusive, that is generic or crop-specific, standards on lowering GHG emissions, increased momentum will be needed to encourage emissions reduction and its mainstreaming in agriculture. This can be accomplished through:
- Small-scale pilots with farmers in diverse geographies to assess the effectiveness of emission reduction practices
- A simple and innovative system of measurement for GHG emissions with suitable indicators for farmers
- Increased action by relevant stakeholders around markets for emission-reduced agri-products, incentives, cross-subsidization, and carbon credits/offsets
- Studies on consumer awareness and Willingness To Pay (WTP)
- A strong component of farmers' awareness and agri-extension services for the adoption of alternative practices with on-field demonstration to farmers’ need investments