Environmental Defense Fund

At a Glance



Project Types

Food and Agriculture, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




New Delhi


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)

Potential Impact

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:

  1. Small-scale pilots with farmers in diverse geographies to assess the effectiveness of emission reduction practices
  2. A simple and innovative system of measurement for GHG emissions with suitable indicators for farmers
  3. Increased action by relevant stakeholders around markets for emission-reduced agri-products, incentives, cross-subsidization, and carbon credits/offsets
  4. Studies on consumer awareness and Willingness To Pay (WTP)
  5. A strong component of farmers' awareness and agri-extension services for the adoption of alternative practices with on-field demonstration to farmers’ need investments

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