Climate-smart & Regenerative Agriculture with Maize Farmers in Karnataka, India

Karnataka, India

This project involves supporting Maize Farmers in Belgaum Karnataka who is employed through Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) to gradually transition from chemical agricultural practices to a more sustainable form of agriculture and crop production. The project will regulate water use, soil use, fertilizer use etc. and ensure maximum benefits in terms of crop production and yield. The above activities also mean that this project can access carbon finance. This finance will be used by the FPOs to efficiently and smoothly raise working capital for the continuation of the project. The project aims based on interest rates from the current levels. This subsidy will be financed by a unique model combining the benefits of Carbon Finance as well as other green instruments such as Climate Bonds.

Background of Project

• Pilot Agricultural program accessing blended finance from Green Bonds, Microfinance and Carbon Finance.
• Carbon credits to be generated by FPOs through their member farmers by reducing chemical inputs in their PoP, improving soil carbon on their fields through increased carbon sequestration on the land.
• A structured Incentive Plan will be put in place for the farmers and communities to be actively involved in the project and encourage them during the transition & help support their costs.
• There will be a guaranteed NO YIELD reduction from current levels for the farmers and INCREASED yield will be the aim of the project through sustainable agriculture techniques.
• Pilot to be done with 10,000 maize farmers in Belgaum.
• Each FPO covers around 3-4 villages.

The Project

The project aims to access blended finance from green bonds, microfinance & carbon finance. The key activity of the project aims to transition the farmers from chemical agricultural practices to sustainable agricultural practices. The project targets 9 FPOs in Karnataka. Each FPO has 1100 farmers. Anticipated activities of the project are zero tillage, organic fertilisers (farmyard manure, vermicompost, green manuring), bio-fertilisers and microbial cultures (Sanjivak, Jivamrut, Amritpani, Panchgavya), bio-pesticides (Trichoderma/ Pseudomonas), botanical pesticides (Neem), mulching, intercropping, crop rotation, biological control of weeds, integrated pesticide management (IPM), integrated nutrient management (INM), integrated farming systems (IFS) and drip irrigation/micro-irrigation.

The Benefits

The benefits from the project include improved soil health, improved water quality and management, reduced chemical fertilizer and pesticide use, healthier crops which leads to less product wastage, Training and capacity building of farmers on sustainable agriculture techniques by IFHD, Crop yields – Crops are maintained and not negatively affected, Local Employment – Recruitment of project staff and monitors, Self-help groups with a significant number of women are created; to collaborative decision-making and working.