Low Carbon Development Pathways in Indian Agriculture
Indian agriculture sector is a significant emitter of Green House Gas (GHG), which is projected to increase by 47% between 2011 and 2020. In response to this, India has committed itself to voluntarily reduce its emissions intensity (emissions per unit GDP) between 20 to 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. This would require rapid and significant scaling up of mitigation efforts including the agriculture sector, which remains a challenge, as mitigation is not a priority in Indian agriculture. The study found out that in-spite of numerous mitigation technologies that are readily available for takeoff, the scale of adoption and deployment is far from sufficient to meet the emission targets set by the Government of India, mainly due to lack of financial incentives, capacity building of farmers, and an enabling policy at different levels. This study identified a suite of feasible interventions for promoting low carbon agriculture such as: low tillage systems as it has negative costs due to savings on tillage and fuel; introduction of superior livestock breeds to reduce numbers (especially unproductive cattle) and increase yield; use of livestock wastes to produce energy for cooking and heating through bio-gas technology can not only reduce methane emission but also save electricity costs for the households and; introduction of carbon credits and exploration of domestic carbon markets. An enabling policy environment must be created for these interventions to take off. (original abstract)
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