Intellecap, Transform Rural India Foundation launch carbon finance platform for 1 million smallholder farmers

Intellecap and Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF) on Monday announced the launch of a national platform that will help Indian smallholder farmers leverage climate/carbon finance for sustainable agro-forestry, climate smart agriculture and other activities that can result in carbon sequestration and mitigation. According to a statement, the platform brings together more than one million smallholder farmers who will be provided support and training for climate smart agriculture and agro-forestry.

Globally, there is a growing market demand for carbon credits from projects that provide co-benefits like community economic development, improved health outcomes, biodiversity enhancement, gender equality etc. However, Indian carbon producers are unable to reap the benefits due to poor awareness about climate/carbon financing mechanisms, limited technical capacity to design and implement high-quality carbon projects, lack of clarity on fair price sharing and legal arrangements, among other aspects. There is a need for a platform that would enhance the capacity of smallholder farmers to effectively participate in the voluntary carbon market.

The statement added that the newly launched platform will play a key role in empowering smallholder farmers by:

  • Generating awareness on 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
  • Speaking on the launch of this platform, Anish Kumar, Co-Lead, Transforming Rural India Foundation said in the statement, “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.”

    The platform will be registering different types of carbon offset projects in which smallholder farmers would be able to participate and benefit from the monetization of the carbon credits that will be generated under an independent carbon crediting mechanism in the voluntary carbon market. The global voluntary carbon market is expected to be worth $200 billion by 2050. The platform is already in discussion with Indian and global corporates who are keen to participate and support smallholder farmers by purchasing carbon credits from these projects.

    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.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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