AgriSA backs carbon offset schemes to promote sustainable farming

Johannesburg – AgriSA commodity chamber has pledged support for incentive or carbon offset schemes to help introduce conservation agriculture.

The chamber added:  “As a principle, carbon taxing of agriculture is not justifiable, because it is responsible for food security.

“As a small role player, its contribution to the country’s [greenhouse gas] emission reduction target is almost insignificant.”

The organisation endorsed direct payment as well as indirect support to farmers for large initiatives and offset schemes, which include payment for ecosystem services.

However, acting manager of SA Environmental Observation Network uLwazi Node, Nicky Allsop said it would not be known what impact carbon sequestration schemes would have on the large term sustainability “until long after the money has been paid”.

A report by Lux Research senior analyst Joshua Haslum and research director Sara Olson warned that monetising soil carbon sequestration (SCS) involved “an accurate estimation of soil organic carbon change that is guaranteed over at least a 10-year time frame”.

“The important follow-up question to consider is, how much revenue is likely to be generated. The answer will depend on the management practices and continued management efforts undertaken by each individual grower,” the report added.



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