Uttar Pradesh has launched an agroforestry project to generate carbon credits and provide a sustainable income sources to farmers.
The state government has partnered with The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) to launch 6 agroforestry projects in 29 districts spanning Meerut, Moradabad, Saharanpur and Lucknow divisions.
The ‘agroforestry carbon finance project’ will generate 4.5 million carbon credits to the tune of more than Rs 200 crore considering each carbon credit is worth $6.
Agroforestry is tree-based farming technique. It is a nature-based activity to nurture carbon-neutral growth.
Carbon markets are trading models for selling and buying carbon credits among investors and companies. Carbon credits earned from agroforestry is sold at a price determined according to the social impact of the project.
Each tradable carbon credit equals a tonne of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases reduced or sequestered. The global carbon credit market was valued at $760 billion in 2021, and is projected to touch $2.68 trillion by 2028.
India is a net exporter of carbon credits. It issued 278 million credits in the voluntary carbon markets between 2010 and 2022, thus accounting for 17 percent of global supply.
Carbon finance works on the ‘Polluter Pays Principle’ with the polluting industries buying carbon credits. The agroforestry project will promote wood lots as farm forestry, and increase tree cover outside forest area.
In 2014, India became the first country to adopt an agroforestry policy to promote employment, productivity and environmental conservation.
Against total geographical area of nearly 24 million hectares (MH), the UP green cover stands at 9.23 percent or about 2.22 MH.
UP is targetting to increase green cover from 9.23 percent to 15 percent by 2026-27 by expanding forest/green area by an additional 1.40 MH by planting 1.75 billion trees and promoting agroforestry.