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TRIF Launches a Carbon Finance Platform for 1 Million Smallholder Farmers

Globally, there is an increasing market demand for carbon credits from initiatives that deliver additional advantages including gender equality, improved health outcomes, and community economic growth.

Shruti Kandwal
Smallholder farmers will be able to participate in and profit from the monetization of the carbon credits.
Smallholder farmers will be able to participate in and profit from the monetization of the carbon credits.

A national carbon finance platform has been launched by Intellecap and Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF), which will help Indian smallholder farmers in utilizing climate and carbon finance for sustainable agroforestry, climate smart agriculture, and other activities that can result in carbon sequestration and mitigation.

More than a million smallholder farmers are linked together by the platform, and they will receive support and training in agroforestry and climate-smart farming.

Globally, there is an increasing market demand for carbon credits from initiatives that deliver additional advantages including gender equality, improved health outcomes, and community economic growth. However, Indian carbon producers are unable to benefit because of a lack of knowledge about climate change and carbon financing mechanisms, technical limitations that prevent the development and implementation of high-quality carbon projects, a lack of clarity regarding equitable price sharing, unclear legal arrangements, and other factors. A platform that would increase smallholder farmers' ability to actively engage in the voluntary carbon market is required.

The newly launched platform will play a key role in empowering smallholder farmers by:

  • Generating awareness of different types of carbon projects (e.g., agroforestry, clean cooking, waste management, etc.) and their benefits

  • Enhancing technical capacity to design and implement high-quality carbon projects at scale

  • Supporting monetizing of carbon assets and pre-financing of projects

  • Establishing rules on fair practices for carbon benefit sharing

  • Improving resilience of vulnerable communities to climate change through improved watershed, cooler microclimate, soil erosion prevention, and enhanced biodiversity

Smallholder farmers will be able to participate in and profit from the monetization of the carbon credits that will be generated under an independent carbon crediting mechanism in the voluntary carbon market through the platform, which will be registering various types of carbon offset projects. By 2050, the market for voluntary carbon emissions is expected to be worth $200 billion. The platform is already in talks with Indian and international corporations that are eager to take part and help smallholder farmers by buying carbon credits from these projects.

Speaking on the launch of this platform, Anish Kumar, Co-Lead, Transforming Rural India Foundation said, “At TRIF we are excited about launching this platform which will provide fair pricing while ensuring an increase in income of smallholder farmers and vulnerable communities as well as supporting India achieve its net zero goals sustainably. While climate finance and carbon finance are becoming a major source of financing climate action for enterprises and big corporates, smallholder farmers struggle to get access to climate finance for the projects that are not only producing climate outcomes but also creating jobs and building resilience of the local communities. This platform aims to be the guide and champion of these smallholder farmers for climate/ carbon finance.”

Santosh K. Singh, Managing Director- Agri and Climate, Intellecap said, “We are committed to increasing smallholder farmers’ income and transitioning them to climate-smart agriculture. Climate finance, specifically carbon finance provides a great opportunity for these farmers to undertake climate action projects, which would not be possible in absence of carbon finance. The platform also helps corporates and other stakeholders who are committed to net zero goals and looking to offset their residual carbon footprints from projects which not only give carbon emission reduction but also empower and benefit local communities. We are already seeing a huge demand for carbon emission reduction certificates from the voluntary carbon market. This platform will help our smallholder farmers to participate in the carbon market seamlessly.

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