On December 10, Kerala’s State Seed Farm in Aluva shall be declared carbon impartial by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. As per officers, that is the primary seed farm within the nation to attain a carbon impartial standing.
The 102-year-old farm is situated on Thuruth Island within the Periyar River and has been an natural seed farm since 2012. It has since been taking steps to scale back its carbon emissions, and this decade of efforts has resulted in it reaching carbon neutrality.
Research had been underway since August this 12 months to evaluate its carbon footprint. Officers from the Kerala Agricultural College School of Local weather Change and Environmental Science mentioned that the farm had 43 tonnes of carbon emissions and 213 tonnes of carbon storage.
This makes the farm carbon impartial in addition to carbon damaging.
One of many individuals behind the farm’s achievements is Lissymol J Vadakuttu, assistant director of agriculture at State Seed Farm Aluva.
She says that the outcomes present that they’ve carbon credit. “We aren’t simply carbon impartial, we’re carbon damaging. We’ve got 170 tonnes of carbon credit, which will be bought sooner or later to those that require them,” says Vadakuttu.
What’s carbon impartial farming?
Agricultural practices emit lots of carbon dioxide .Based on a report in Science Information, agriculture and livestock account for 14 per cent of India’s gross nationwide greenhouse gasoline emissions. If we add electrical energy utilized by the agriculture sector, the quantity stands at a whopping 22 per cent.
Mainly, carbon impartial farming implies that the emissions made throughout agricultural practices in a farm have to be absorbed into the soil itself.
Vadakuttu explains that step one was utilizing natural agricultural actions, then got here efforts to enhance soil well being, adopted by intercropping methods and correct waste disposal.
“A farm is carbon impartial when the amount of carbon dioxide and different greenhouse gases is captured within the soil. For this, soil needs to be of excellent high quality and captured by microbes. As we had been natural for a decade, the following steps turned simple for us,” explains Vadakuttu to The Higher India.
The officer acquired the soil analysed periodically, and within the course of, the soil microbial standing was additionally examined.
Producing inputs in-house to scale back emissions
The farm practises an built-in farming system the place crops are grown alongside livestock, poultry and fish. Other than paddy varieties, they’ve indigenous breeds of cows (Kasargod), goats (Malabar), geese (Kuttanadan), and fish, which give manure to the farm.
Vadakuttu says they’ve about 5,000 fish, 100 geese and 50 poultry.
“We produce all inputs required right here itself. Crop residue is transformed into compost and used to fertilise the fields. Geese are very useful in paddy cultivation. They transfer within the water and management pests and illnesses,” provides Vadakuttu.
She explains that they solely purchase lime as Kerala soil is acidic. “Aside from this element, every thing used within the farm is recycled,” says the officer.
Their predominant crop is paddy, which is cultivated on seven acres.
Other than the excessive yielding selection, additionally they domesticate conventional Kerala varieties and supply these seeds to the farmers. These embrace Raktasaali, Njavara, Pokkali, Chettadi, and so on.
“We’ve got additionally began cultivating a conventional magic rice that may be cooked with no flame since final 12 months,” provides the officer.
One other step taken to scale back emissions is utilization of renewable power, on this case photo voltaic.
“No matter power was required in our workplace, has been transformed to photo voltaic power. We’ve got additionally established a photo voltaic dryer to dry our paddy seeds. We wish to make our farm self-sufficient by way of power. Now, we’re putting in photo voltaic panels to fulfill all different necessities of the farm like irrigation and processing,” provides Vadakuttu.
Edited by Divya Sethu, Pictures Courtesy State Seed Farm, Aluva
‘Farmers in India reduce their carbon footprint with bushes and solar energy’ by Sibi Arasu for Science Information, Printed on 16 Could 2022