Agriculture and Net Zero

Manufacturing industries have been a focus for reducing carbon emissions. However, agriculture also has its fair share of emissions. Agriculture contributes up to 24% of GHG emissions worldwide. Moreover, the contribution of agriculture in methane emissions is 25-30% — the highest in any human-related activity. Hence reducing emissions in agriculture becomes critical.

49% of emissions come from livestock, mainly through burping and flatulence. In addition, 22% comes from energy use, 16% from rice methane and 13% from soil fertilisation.

Some approaches to reducing emissions in agriculture are:

  • Shift to renewable energy/ biofuels
  • Increased use of biochar
  • Increasing forests and biodiversity
  • Improved farming techniques, including no-till planting, enhancing soils with cover crops, making better use of crop residues
  • Reducing flatulence and burping among cattle through methane reducing feed additives and supplements
  • Reducing stubble burning by incentivising farmers, mechanically cutting stubble and composting stubble.
  • Using drip irrigation to reduce rice methane

The shift to net zero is imperative, and agriculture has a significant role to play.

Published by Utkarsh Majmudar

Utkarsh Majmudar is a Fellow, IIM Ahmedabad and a professional with experience encompassing academics and administration at top business schools in India (IIM Lucknow, IIM Udaipur, and IIM Bangalore) and working with large corporations. His interest areas include corporate finance and CSR.

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