Carbon Farming

Continuing Carbon Farming

30 August 2022 - Published by Paula Nijman
Exactly four years ago, in August 2018, we started implementing this Carbon Farming project at a time when there was little attention for the subject. In hindsight this turned out to be a perfect timing! Because since in 2021 Executive Vice-president of the EU Frans Timmermans announced that Carbon Farming is expected to contribute significantly to the European Climate Policy, attention to the subject has increased enormously! And I am very happy about that, because attention to Carbon Farming means attention to more sustainable soil management with all the associated benefits, for climate and for a sustainable food production. Because a higher organic matter content in the soil leads to healthier soils, with more biodiversity, a higher water-retaining capacity and therefore greater resilience against climate extremes and a healthier food system.

Together with the partners in this project, the Norwegian Landuse Advisory Service (NRLO), the Thünen Institute, 3-N Kompetenzcentrum, Inagro, Boerenbond, Bionext and ZLTO, we worked intensively for four years on motivating farmers to change to carbon farming, by organizing many events for knowledge transfer to farmers and by developing business models for carbon farming. In total, more than 2000 farmers participated in these knowledge events and we were able to remove  more than 10,000 tons of CO2 from the air and store this in soil and biomass through the various pilot projects that were started during the project.

Our experiences are recorded in four core documents:

Due to the practical experiences in our project, we have often been asked to give presentations at various events in preparation for the EU Carbon Farming policy. And a real highlight was the personal presentation of our White Paper to Executive Vice-president of the EU Frans Timmermans on November 29, 2021. We are very proud that our experiences have been incorporated into the documents presented by the EU on December 15, 2021 regarding the EU Carbon Farming policy. And we are very curious about the new steps that are being prepared at the EU and that will be presented again at the end of this year.

The project is coming to an end, but we will continue to promote carbon farming. The knowledge and experiences gained in this project will help us enormously. We hope that the reports that we have been able to prepare in the project will also be helpful for other initiatives so that together we can make carbon farming successful, to slow down global warming and for a sustainable food production.