Achieving India’s net zero target requires immediate action across all sectors including agriculture and land use. India’s AFOLU sector contributed approximately 15 per cent to the gross total GHG emissions of the country. Research indicates that by 2030, “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector (crops and livestock) in India would be 515 MtCO2e per year with a technical mitigation potential of 85.5 Mt CO2 equivalent per year without compromising food production and nutrition. Many of the sustainable agricultural practices are negative cost ones and are already being implemented in different parts of the country. The AFOLU sector is poised to play an essential role in helping India achieve its climate-related targets successfully.
The impacts of climate change are already beginning to be felt in agriculture and land quality, with poor and marginalised communities facing the brunt. While there is a long history of work on agriculture and land use from a productivity and nutritional security perspective, it is now important to bring in a climate-lens to the discussion given the criticality of the impacts of climate change on agriculture and land use. Interventions targeted at improving agriculture and land use planning can result in a multitude of benefits for India and for the communities dependent on the sector including improved crop resilience and nutritional profile, multiple revenue streams for farmers and better livelihood opportunities for all including women and tribal and other marginalised groups, increased resilience against extreme weather events, enhanced food security for India and a significant reduction in our GHG emissions.
The consultation on Sustainable Agriculture and Land Use in India, conducted on 20th April 2022 by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation in collaboration with Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition and Rainmatter Foundation, sought to arrive at better awareness and understanding of climate related actions being taken by ecosystem partners across India on climate-friendly agriculture and land use. It further sought to understand the methodology, knowledge and policy gaps that need to be filled to advance the objectives of climate-positive agriculture and land use.