Carbon farming is the process of changing agricultural practices to increase the amount of carbon stored in the soil, or to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.
It has huge potential but is still underused in central Europe. The Carbon Farming – CE project wants to change this and make regions more familiar with the concept. The partnerhip adapts and tests various techniques and business models and develops a monitoring tool for transnational, standardised carbon sequestration.
Revolutionizing Agriculture and Combating Climate Change: Carbon Farming CE Project Releases Two Key Resources
The INTERREG CENTRAL EUROPE Carbon Farming CE project, a transnational initiative of nine participating countries and eleven project partners dedicated to addressing climate change and advancing agricultural sustainability, proudly presents two core outcomes: the training materials for farmers and the business model approach guide.
Carbon Farming CE Project Empowers Farmers
The release of newly developed training material for farmers signifies a great leap forward in the Carbon Farming CE project. This comprehensive resource is a testament to diligent transnational collaboration and direct engagement with farming communities. Crafted for farmers and in partnership with farmers, it empowers individuals with the knowledge and tools to embark on a journey towards sustainable agriculture.
At its core, this training material provides farmers with accessible resources on carbon farming, offering detailed descriptions of seven carbon farming techniques and twelve best practice examples. These insights have been thoughtfully curated through feedback gathered during national co-creation workshops.
More than a mere manual for implementation, this document sheds light on the profound impact of each technique on soil carbon levels. Carbon farming’s role in reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is essential in mitigating the effects of climate change. Furthermore, it underscores how carbon farming enhances soil health, a cornerstone of food security, and explores environmental and economic impacts while addressing potential barriers and challenges related to practical implementation.
A key highlight is the inclusion of twelve best practice examples. These real-world case studies document successful carbon farming experiments, showcasing techniques that have led to positive outcomes in terms of carbon sequestration, offering evidence of feasibility from a practical perspective.
Written in an accessible and reader-friendly language, this training material ensures farmers from diverse backgrounds can engage with the content effectively. For those seeking further exploration, comprehensive citations and references are provided, facilitating additional research opportunities.
The training material seamlessly aligns with the project’s overarching communication goals. It seeks to ignite farmer interest in carbon farming techniques and serve as a vital source of information on their ability to store CO2 in the soil. While initially in English, each participating country is committed to translating the document into its local language, ensuring widespread dissemination through agricultural channels, reaching farmers and agricultural advisors.
Carbon Farming CE Project Takes Strides Towards Sustainable Agriculture
The Carbon Farming CE project’s commitment to shaping the future of agriculture culminates with the release of the Carbon Farming Business Model Approach Guide. The innovative approach intends to upscale and disseminate carbon farming practices widely, positioning Central Europe at the forefront of sustainable agriculture.
The guide fosters the testing and validation of carbon farming cooperation models across nine Central European countries. It reaches out to a diverse array of stakeholders, including farmers, SMEs, NGOs, public institutions, decision-makers, and agricultural support institutions. It aims to catalyse a transformative shift in the behaviour of these stakeholders and facilitate the adoption of carbon farming cooperation models for carbon sequestration.
Implementing carbon sequestration techniques in land management holds the potential to reverse soil degradation, protect biodiversity, ensure food security, and significantly contribute to climate change mitigation. While scientific evidence underscores the effectiveness of carbon sequestration, its practical application remains limited. The next critical step involves the widespread scaling up and demonstration of these techniques.
The development and testing of carbon farming cooperation models provide a pioneering example and a wellspring of inspiration for future initiatives. By disseminating these models to diverse economic actors, governmental authorities, and consumers, awareness about the transformative potential of carbon farming in agrifood production processes is raised.
Both resources usher in a new era of sustainable agriculture that promises environmental protection, biodiversity preservation, food security, and substantial contributions to the fight against climate change.
The marvellous city of Bled in Slovenia hosted the kick-off meeting of the CARBON FARMING project on 14 April 2023. Representatives of eleven consortium partners coming from nine countries have successfully launched this ambitious INTERREG CENTRAL EUROPE project that aims at bringing carbon farming on the fast-track to development, with a total funding of 1,8 million EUR from the European Regional Development Fund.
But what is carbon farming? Dr Antoaneta Kuhar, the project coordinator at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia explains: “The idea behind carbon farming is quite simple: Remove excess carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil, where it will facilitate plant growth. In this way, carbon farming not only contributes to reducing GHG emissions, but it preserves and restores soil health through the increase of soil organic matter thus contributing to enhanced food production, resilience, security and biodiversity.”
Thus, it is no surprise that carbon farming is high on the international policy agenda, the Carbon Farming Initiative was officially presented by the European Commission at the end of 2021. However, the concept is very new, therefore techniques, business models and policies still need to be designed and tested. This is exactly where the current project will make an important contribution within the next three years.
The partners will elaborate and test six different carbon farming techniques and five business models in all participating countries and beyond, whereby the uptake and upscaling will be facilitated by the Guide for Carbon Farming Techniques, the Carbon Farming Business Model Procedures as well as by roadmaps for carbon-dioxide sequestration monitoring. The Central European Carbon Farming Cluster will accelerate the policy recognition, using the strategy and action plan also developed by the project. Capacity building measures like a 3-day winter school and transnational seminars complement the service portfolio of the project, ensuring a comprehensive impact in better understanding of carbon farming benefits by different stakeholders, wider acceptance of carbon farming practices and business models and newly developed monitoring models. The project will also prepare decision makers for the participatory dialogue between different stakeholder groups when deciding about supportive measures within Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027.
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