Healthier, more nutritious crop production

Healthier, more nutritious crop production

Positive environmental impacts on surrounding waters and land

Positive environmental impacts on surrounding waters and land

Educating and helping farmers in Eastern Europe improve soil quality - a legacy for future generations

Educating and helping farmers in Eastern Europe improve soil quality - a legacy for future generations

CSR project with multiple social, health and environmental benefits

CSR project with multiple social, health and environmental benefits

Carbon Solutions Global supporting Gold Standard climate smart agriculture

Carbon Solutions Global supporting Gold Standard climate smart agriculture

PROJECT LOCATION:

Northern Hungary and Transdanubian Region

PROJECT START:

September 2011

ANNUAL EMISSIONS REDUCTION:

1.3M tonnes of CO2e

PROJECT COORDINATOR:

Carbon Solutions Global Ltd.

Office:
CKR House, 70 East Hill Dartford
Kent DA1 1RZ UK

+44 (0)208 123 6670
csaproject@carbonsolutionsglobal.com
www.theclearplate.com 
www.climatesmartagriculture.co.uk

Introduction

The Clear Plate project reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural activities and improves soil quality on arable land

PROJECT ACTIVITY

Spanning 155,000 hectares of farmland in Northern Hungary and the Transdanubian region the farmers use a complex bacterial fertiliser and, a universal performance enhancing algal leaf  fertiliser in conjunction with climate smart soil cultivation methods to increase the soil carbon content which in turn results in a reduction of atmospheric CO2e concentration. The implementation of climate smart soil cultivation has progressive positive impacts on both the water and nutrient management of the soil. The soil quality improves year on year thus facilitating adaptation to the negative impacts associated with climate change.


The Clear Plate project reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural activities and improves soil quality on arable land through two main interventions: 

01.    Partial replacement of artificial nitrogen fertilisers with complex bacterial  

fertiliser and universal performance enhancer algal leaf fertilsers.

02.    Implementation of climate smart soil cultivation methods.

What is climate smart soil cultivation?

TRADITIONAL PLOUGHING METHODS:

Traditional methods of ploughing soil are deep (22 cm - 25 cm) and leave an open soil surface that causes significant loss of soil carbon into the atmosphere.

CLIMATE SMART SOIL CULTIVATION:

Climate smart soil cultivation involves ploughing to a depth of 22 cm - 25 cm using a cultivator/disc and then closing the soil surface within 24 hours with a rolling harrow or ground roll with grain residues, combined with use of agro bio - fertilisers (bacterial plus leaf algae.) Using this method causes comparatively less soil carbon loss. 

DEMONSTRATED DIFFERENCE IN THE CASE OF WHEAT CULTIVATION:

The traditional method requires 22 cm - 25 cm deep ploughing with the soil surface left open for the winter months. This results in approximately 200 kgCO2e/ha/day of soil carbon loss.
In comparison climate smart soil cultivation allows for 22 cm - 25 cm deep ploughing using a cultivator/disc, and then closing the soil surface within 48 hours with a rolling harrow or ground roll with grain residues. This method causes significantly less soil carbon loss at approximately 70 kgCO2e/ha/day, thus representing a saving of 130 kgCO2e/ha/day.
The picture below illustrates the differences between the traditional and climate smart soil cultivation methods and the resultant soil carbon loss per hectare per day.

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Climate effects

By 2050, climate change will increase extreme drought, especially in the subtropics,  low and mid-latitudes. Increased water stress will impact land areas at twice the size of those areas that experience decreased water stress.
The global impacts of climate change on yields cannot be estimated due to variation amongst locations and crop types. However the overall impact on grain is negative. The potential yield loss is about 5 percent for each degree Celsius of global warming.
Many crop yields are expected to decline due to long-term changes in temperature and rainfall and increased climate variability. The outcome of this may result in higher food prices, along with chronic poverty and undernutrition for farming households already battered by climate extremes such as drought and flood.

How does carbon finance help this project?

Carbon finance is pivotal to the success of this climate smart agriculture project. The sale of the carbon credits generated are used to fund the biological nutrients and the technological innovations for the farmers involved, and without carbon finance this project would not be viable.
The number one indicator of the programme is the volume of GHG emissions reduction. The achieved 1.3 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent reduction since 2011 is an outstanding magnitude in the line of agricultural projects. By comparison a biogas plant (manure management, use of waste biomass) can achieve on average 20 to 30 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions reduction annually. The emissions reduction in the project was 1.1 million tonnes for the past year on 155,000  ha and the land area involved is gradually increasing as more and more farmers join the programme. This is equivalent to the GHG reduction of approximately ten biogas plants. 
With the protocol related to the soil carbon emissions reduction in this project, a procedure for reducing the use of fossil N-fertilisers and for soil carbon saving has been developed that may initiate the inclusion of further agricultural areas into the climate smart soil cultivation system.

About climate smart agriculture

Between now and 2050, the world's population will increase by one third.
Most of these additional 2 billion people will live in developing countries. At the same time, more people will be living in cities. If current income and consumption growth trends continue, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates, that agricultural production will have to increase by 60 percent by 2050 to satisfy the expected demands for food and feed. Agriculture must therefore transform itself if it is to feed a growing global population and provide the basis for economic growth and poverty reduction.
Climate change will make this task more difficult under a business-as-usual scenario, due to adverse impacts on agriculture requiring spiralling adaptation and related costs.
Climate smart agriculture (CSA), as defined and presented by FAO at the Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in 2010, contributes to the achievement of sustainable development goals. It integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) by jointly addressing food security and climate challenges. It is composed of three main pillars:

01. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and income
02. Adapting and building resilience to climate change
03. Reducing and/or removing GHG emissions,  where possible
CSA is an approach to developing the technical, policy and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security under climate change.
Implementing this approach is challenging, partly due to a lack of tools and experience. Climate smart interventions are highly location specific, and knowledge intensive. Considerable efforts are required to develop the knowledge and capacities to make CSA a reality. To a large extent these are the same efforts required for achieving sustainable agricultural development which have been advocated over past decades, yet still insufficiently realised on the ground. CSA offers an opportunity to revitalise these efforts, overcome adoption barriers, whilst also adjusting them to the new realities of climate change.

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