Framework for Voluntary Carbon Market in Agriculture Sector

Framework for Voluntary Carbon Market in Agriculture Sector


Recently, the Union Minister unveiled the Framework for Voluntary Carbon Market in Agriculture Sector and the Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries.

Relevance: GS-03  (Agriculture)

Voluntary Carbon Market in Agriculture:

  • The Agriculture Ministry has devised a framework to encourage the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) within the agricultural sector, aiming to enable small and medium farmers to access carbon credit benefits.
  • This initiative not only supports farmers but also fosters the adoption of environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.
  • About: Voluntary carbon markets enable carbon emitters to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits generated by projects aimed at removing or reducing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
    • In agriculture, carbon credits are generated based on carbon dioxide absorbed into the soil and greenhouse gas emissions reduced above the soil (e.g., through improved nitrogen timing) – surpassing the existing practices on a farm.
  • While agriculture contributes to climate change, it also possesses the capacity to mitigate it by serving as a carbon sink.
  • Accreditation Protocol of Agroforestry Nurseries: This protocol aims to enhance the institutional mechanisms for the production and certification of planting material on a large scale to promote agroforestry nationwide.

Carbon Markets Explained:


  • Carbon markets serve as a mechanism for pricing carbon emissions, enabling the trade of carbon credits with the overarching aim of reducing emissions.
  • These markets offer incentives for emission reduction and energy efficiency improvements, fostering a shift towards cleaner practices.
  • For instance, entities exceeding emission standards can earn credits, while those falling short can purchase credits to meet compliance requirements.
  • Trading systems are established where carbon credits or allowances can be bought and sold, facilitating emissions reduction efforts.
  • A carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide removed, reduced, or sequestered, as per United Nations standards.
  • Governments set carbon allowances or caps based on their emission reduction targets, regulating the overall emission levels.
  • Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, countries can utilize international carbon markets to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aimed at achieving net-zero emissions.