A Climate-Smart Agriculture For a Better Tomorrow

Climate change is one of the most daunting issues that our world is facing right now. Over the last few years, we have had extreme weather events like floods, droughts, storms, and wildfires amongst others. All of these pose a grave threat to our existential ecosystems like agriculture, food, and water supplies.

In its latest ‘State of Climate’ report, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) notes that four key climate change markers – greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations, rise in sea levels, ocean heat, and ocean acidification – have hit record highs in the last year alone!

The tangible impact of climate change is so severe that leading climate scientists believe that the unprecedented heatwave in India was made 30 times more severe due to a man-made climate crisis.

How agriculture is a leading contributor to climate change

In an agrarian society like India, agriculture and its allied sectors are one of the largest livelihood providers. However, they are also one of the largest GHG emitters. India is the third-largest emitter of GHGs with agriculture alone accounting for about 19% of these emissions.

For a majority of people in India’s rural areas, agriculture is the primary source of income and despite its record food production year after year, India needs to substantially increase its agri output to feed its ballooning population. This ever-increasing demand for food puts added pressure on farmers to produce more with each passing day. To achieve this, farmers engage in intensive farming that demands excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, frequent shifts towards livestock and cash crops, and land-use changes that accelerate GHG emissions like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

  1. Extensive use of fertilizers: Did you know that India is the second-largest user of fertilizers in the world? Urea – a major component of fertilizers, accounts for 82% of nitrogen consumption, and di-ammonium phosphate accounts for 63% of the total phosphate consumption. Over the past two decades, India’s per hectare fertilizer usage has grown by a whopping 70% with every quintal of nitrogen applied in farming emitting 1.25 kg of nitrous oxide, the third-most influential GHG.
  2. Cash crops and livestock: Crop and livestock production contributes around 42% and 58% to total agricultural emissions in India. Rice, wheat, cotton, and sugarcane – the four predominant export-oriented cash crops together constitute around 80% of the total crop emissions. Livestock such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, and goats add 99% of total livestock-related GHG emissions.

Additionally, common agricultural practices like stubble burning and flooding of paddy fields further amplify GHG emissions.

As the saying goes, what goes around, comes around. While the agriculture sector is responsible for climate change due to GHG emissions, it is also one of the most severely impacted sectors by the disastrous effects of a changing climate.

So, what can we do to tackle this global issue? One simple change that can mitigate the impact of climate change is the adoption of “Climate-Smart Agriculture”. Let’s explore how climate-smart agriculture can help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

Demystifying climate-smart agriculture

While agriculture is significantly responsible for climate change, it can also be a solution. Using the right techniques and technologies, agricultural land alone can store up to 1.2 billion tons of carbon and could offset 4% of the average annual GHG emissions over the rest of the century. This is where climate-smart agriculture comes in.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines “Climate-Smart Agriculture” as an approach to leverage agricultural ecosystems to mitigate the effects of climate change by achieving the below “Triple Wins”:

  1. Sustainably increasing productivity and incomes
  2. Adapting to climate change, and
  3. Reducing GHG emissions

WayCool: Leading from the front

WayCool, India’s largest Agritech and Agricommerce company, has shown a way to effectively tackle climate change through climate-smart agricultural practices.

Through its Outgrow agriculture extension program, WayCool has been helping thousands of smallholder farmers in India improve their soil health, enhance biodiversity, and integrate livestock-based natural inputs to improve farm productivity, reduce cultivation costs, and generate sustainable income throughout the year.

  1. Enhancing Soil Health

Soil Organic Matter (SOM) defines the fertility and crop productivity of the soil. It acts as a reservoir of nutrients for crops and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Through sustained regenerative farming techniques like cover cropping, green mulching, minimum/no-tillage, and livestock-based green manure, WayCool’s OARS model farm near Bengaluru recorded an improvement in SOM from 0.8% to 1.58% in 2021-22, which resulted in an improvement in the soil’s organic carbon from 0.5% to 0.8%.

What this essentially means is that within the next two cropping seasons, the OARS model farm will only require micro-nutrients as per the soil composition, and the entire macro-nutrients requirement will be completely fulfilled by the SOM.

Furthermore, due to a significant improvement in SOM and SOC, the cultivation cost of crops like tomatoes and pumpkins at the OARS model farm has been reduced by 10% to 30% which has helped increase farmers’ incomes by 15% to 30%.

  1. Optimizing Water Utilisation

As part of Outgrow’s farmer advisory services, WayCool actively promotes and educates farmers on the importance of water conservation.

Demonstrating water optimization measures like drip and pitcher irrigation, farm ponds, rainwater harvesting, and groundwater recharge, WayCool recharged approximately 7 lakh liters of water into the ground last year and has ensured water availability for the OARS model farm as well as all nearby farms throughout the year, across the past two years.

At the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year, India pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, and WayCool is committed to actively contributing to this ambitious goal.

At WayCool, we strongly believe that ESG is something that you do every day. Whether it is adopting regenerative agricultural practices to improve the per acre farm yield, solarising our facilities to generate clean energy, installing advanced water treatment plants for optimizing water usage, and infusing automation at every stage of the agri value chain, we are doing everything we can to contribute to a healthier planet.

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are mareked*

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Catagories

News Sustainable Supply Chain Carisma Potatoes Women Entrepreneurs Cultivating nutrition future of food ESG Ready to Cook Foods Test Cat Food Miles Precision Agriculture Total Quality Management Start with Soil food tech Dr Aswath Damodaran Madhuram National Safety Day How to save ground water Role of Modern Technology in Agriculture India's retail market food supply chain GEMBA ground water for agriculture Global Economy WayCool Workplace Safety ground water management Agriculture Today mom & pop stores Censa home grown brands Cross Docking Startups Nurture Young Minds, Develop Safety Culture sustainable farming practices Use of new age technologies in agriculture Retail Tech solution Digital Agri Tech global consumer products WayCool Food OS Workplace Safety Green Initiatives ISO 22000:2018 Indian Retail Sector Zero Dump Wastage food and agri supply chain Outgrow Food and Agri Supply Chains Earth Day Food Safety Management System Tectonic Shift In Indian Retail Sector Lean Supply Chain Grain Grading Retail Tech Tectonic Shifts Regenerative Farming Practices SAP 4 HANA Impact of Robotics and Automation in Retail Sector Machine Learning Grain Grading System for Future Co2 Emissions Food Economy Climate Smart Practices WayCool Migration WayCool’s homegrown brands food supply chain in India Grain Chain Green Energy World Water Day Cross Docking in Supply Chain Management Business Performance Consumer Brands Farming Methods Food scarcity myth Solar Energy Outgrow Material Handing Process in Supply Chain Management Sustainable goals consumer packed goods nutrient-rich produce National Farmers’ Day Renewable Energy Technology-based Irrigation Management Waste Water Management WayCool SAP HANA Case study food freedom sustainable food system Regenerative Farming WayCool’s integrated value chain for banana yelakki - A case study Efficient Water Management Sustainable Water Management AI in Agriculture Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav supply Agritech Cold Chain interventions in Export value chain Groundwater Erosion Climate Smart Agriculture Role of AI in the agriculture Nutritional Day Miyawaki Urban Forest agritech ecosystem Banana Supply Chain Water in Agriculture food security Artificial Intelligence OARS Environmental sustainability zero hunger banana cold chain Supply Chain Management WayCool’s Food OS Future of Agriculture Farming Practices Food flag Food Safety WayCool Brands