International carbon standard – VCS approves EVI-PRAN’s path-breaking climate smart agriculture programme: System of Root Intensification (SRI) - Reduction of Methane emissions and water consumption in rice fields of India.
Rice cultivation is the most important agricultural operation in India, not only in terms of food security but also in terms of livelihood. But few people know that it is also the most dominant source of man-made methane emissions to atmosphere as well as water consumption. At the same time, average yield of rice in India is only 2.3 ton/haas against the global average of 4.374 ton/ha.
Emergent Ventures India (EVI), a premier climate change and sustainability consulting firm and PRAN, a reputable NGO working on agriculture in Bihar joined forces in 2013 to tackle these twin problems of productivity and emissions. To enhance productivity, PRAN had zeroed down on a farm management technique - System of Root Intensification(SRI). Results show that practicing farmers are able to double their yield/hectare using SRI.
EVI, then conducted various on-field tests in Gaya, Bihar and results demonstrated that SRI fields consumed 30-40% less water as paddy fields are not constantly under water. As a result, reduction of more than 60% in methane emissions was observed from paddy fields.
Based on this information, EVI and PRAN initiated an ambitious program in 2013 to generate voluntary carbon credits from use of SRI techniques by small farmers in India. This project has now been successfully validated by world’s largest voluntary carbon standard –VCS.
“This programme sets a benchmark in being one of the first climate smart agriculture projects in world and help's establish a sustainable model of securing carbon finance for proliferation of SRI technique in India and for crops beyond paddy” said Neelesh Sachdeva,Manager, Voluntary Markets, EVI.
“SRI Vidhi Dhan Ka, Chamkayega Bhagya Kisan Ka”.The SRI programme will feed large number of small and marginal farmers and will be a great tool in addressing global problem of food insecurity in general and developing countries in particular. At the same time, this will also be an answer to degrading natural resources and increasing imbalances in environment as a result of global warming” said Anil Verma, Executive Director, PRAN.
About EVI - Founded in 2004, Emergent Ventures International (EVI) was established with the twin goal to accelerate fight against climate change and to foster sustainable development. With projects/presence across 24 countries globally, EVI is one of the leading,fully integrated sustainable development, climate change mitigation and renewables advisory firms.