Today, rice is one of the main products of the Fairtrade producer network. The livelihood of many farmers across various countries is dependent on the weather as it requires a hot and humid climate with approximately 25000 litres for 1 kg of rice. In the 21st century, climate change and global warming have hugely affected farmers’ livelihoods. Hence, Fairtrade has taken active steps to study the impact of climate change on rice farming with the help of the Fair Climate Fund. Fair Climate Fund has been providing their expertise on climate strategy to study and develop the relevant programmes to support climate change effects on rice farming.

A dissemination workshop on the study was organized to share the findings and the demo plots conducted in the India region of Fairtrade rice production. This was attended by as many as 34 participants representing 12 Fairtrade Producer Organisations from the Indian states of Jammu, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, along with delegates from the FCF and NAPP teams. The workshop additionally discussed the potential ways to increase the income portfolio of farmers through carbon credit opportunities.

A discussion was led by Fair Climate Fund on the outcomes of the 2 phases of the study, i.e., Phase 1 study conducted on the GHG emissions
based on current farming practices and Phase 2 study conducted to launch demo plots to showcase and develop the package of practices to support the reduction of GHG emissions. They also evaluated the guidelines and tools for calculations and the indicators for mapping – agriculture, land, water, and energy. The interventions and the outcomes of these interventions in the respective demo plots were also discussed.

Relevant inputs were taken from the participants including the rice practitioners to understand the practices that are appropriate at the local or regional level and subsequently develop an action plan for the future.

1. To increase the scope of study plots under category interventions such as water footprints, fertilizer inputs, soil health, energy usage, nutrition management, intercropping opportunities, and other additional measures that will help the organizations define the current status, further validate the impact of each intervention, and improvise on the practices.

2. To support the development of new-age intervention techniques to comprehend rice farming practices for reducing the impact of Climate change.

3. To scale up opportunities through afforestation or sustainable agriculture land management, or both to develop carbon projects in the future.

4. To collaborate with and train more farmers with climate-friendly activities like crop residue management, mulching, composting, growing green manure crops, using more organic fertilisers, reducing biomass burning and agroforestry.

5. To develop the project under relevant carbon standard methodologies to identify opportunities in income livelihood streams for small-scale farmers.

This was followed by another session on Fairtrade initiatives such as B2B Platform and FairInsight which was led by Mel Team and facilitated by the PSR team. FairInsight platform has helped to increase the visibility of producer impact stories to external members, increasing the credibility of the system and its Usage. The presenters have also shared about the B2B platforms intended to develop the market interface between Producers and NFOs and other brands to showcase their initiatives regarding the Fairtrade commodities. In addition to the clarification discussed, the support of NAPP for all these initiatives was highlighted to ensure Producers could access them and further utilize them for their own benefits.

The meeting ended with an agreement to support each other through participation in such initiatives and NAPP supporting the producers through regular training wherever solicited. The feedback for the day’s workshop was collected from all organisations to help us improve the program delivery in the future.

Producer talks:

“Carbon credit program or training will be very beneficial to the smallholder farmers and thank you for the opportunity to learn the same” – Bhim Chhetri & Farmer, Promoting Body Member, Nature Bio Foods, Kalan Project, India.

“Both the topics covered were very good for us and it was very informative. I like it so much” –  Udai Chaudhary & Farmer, Promoting Body Member, Nature Bio Foods, Bahraich Project, India.

“The workshop was very good and such training should be done regularly” – By Mukesh Sharma, Nature Pearls Pvt. Ltd., India.

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