1. Agriculture World

Cutting Down Farming Emissions to Help India Achieve Net Zero by 2070

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph
Tractors In A Field

After India’s refusal to not sign the sustainable agriculture agenda plan in COP 26, the country has to in all aspects step up in terms of agriculture to cut down the emissions and has to surely deliver in its plan and promise to achieve net-zero by 2070. 

In a report published by Compassion In World Farming charity that was presented during Cop 26 “The central role played by agriculture and food systems tend to be overlooked… The food system receives much less attention, even though it generates 26-37 per cent of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions,” 

India which is globally known as an Agricultural superpower and is known for having 58 per cent of its 130 crore population in the farming sector hence has to step up and find ways to mitigate this problem of emissions. According to research done by economist Ashok Gulati, the highest emissions from agriculture come from cattle farming and constantly irrigated paddy fields in the states of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Bihar. The largest source of greenhouse gases is methane, which is emitted by agricultural operations and food systems. 

Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will need dramatic reductions in meat and dairy production. Deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions are caused by the production of vast amounts of crops to feed cattle for meat and dairy. In India, the agriculture industry accounts for 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions, trailing only the power sector (44 per cent ), manufacturing industries, and construction sectors combined (18 per cent). 

According to the 20th Livestock Census, India has the world's highest cow population, with 535.78 million animals. According to government figures, livestock accounts for 78 per cent of India's total methane emissions of 24 million tonnes. This comprehensive report also included a way to Cut farming emissions with steps such as “direct seeding of rice” in order to decrease water use, in the top 5% of the rice districts in India. 

According to Gulati's paper, India could reduce farming emissions by 178 million tonnes of carbon equivalent through other measures such as improved water management in 20 million hectares of irrigated rice fields, better livestock feed and manure management for 25% of the cattle population, a moratorium on rice-crop residue burning by 2030, and a reduction in farm energy and replacement with green energy. 

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