Carbon Farming

Final report on carbon farming now online

01 July 2022 - Published by Paula Nijman
Our consortium of Dutch, Belgian, German, and Norwegian partners started four years ago to develop the Carbon Farming project (CF project). Local farmers are seen to be in the perfect position to deliver a positive impact on our climate challenges and can help to achieve the climate goals and emission reduction targets of the European Union (EU) by 2030 and climate neutrality in 2050. Through better soil management and carbon farming (CF) practices, farmers can sequester carbon (C) into their soil, caught from atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

CF is not only beneficial in the combat against climate change but has many other advantages. The protection and increase of soil organic matter content, also has a positive effect on soil life, soil water retention and soil fertility. Due to the deterioration of soil quality across Europe, the use of CF practices will become more crucial to counteract downward trends. Together with the improvement of soil quality, the resistance of the soil against extreme weather conditions increases, such as extreme droughts and heavy rainfall associated with climate change. In this way, future harvests can be more secured and unnecessary food losses are avoided. CF is much more than a new way of agricultural management, it is a part of the solution to several challenges we face today, such as biodiversity loss, food security and climate change.

The Interreg North Sea Region CF project was set up with two main goals. One is to enlarge the awareness of possibilities of CF, amongst farmers as well as in society. The other one is to motivate farmers to apply a more sustainable soil management, by developing new business models for implementing CF practices. We started by defining the most promising CF measures to overcome the lack of knowledge on how to implement CF practices.

The outcome of this study can be consulted in the report: 'Inventory of techniques of carbon sequestration in agriculture soils'. In parallel with this study, a desktop research by all partners has been carried out onto the possible markets of carbon credits and the possibilities for the agricultural sector to valorise sequestered C. We identified four potential business models for farmers, namely: within the agrifood chain, outside the agri-food chain, at farm-level and including government institutions. How this research was conducted and how these business models were defined, can be read in the report: 'Research of existing business models to valorise carbon sequestration'. The outcome of the study on the most promising CF measures and the defined business models were brought into practice in so-called "show cases". These show cases are the result of four years of practical work in the CF project where collaborations between farmers and other stakeholders were set up to valorise CF practices and C sequestration. The process of setting up these collaborations and the results are discussed and evaluated in this final report.

 

Read the whole report here