Farmers paid for storing carbon

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Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association (Society for Soil Conservation Saskatchewan) undertook to establish a pilot project to offer carbon credits from agriculture. Carbon credits will offset the greenhouse gas issuers of greenhouse eliminating the conversion to direct seeding (no-till cultivation). Farmers from across Canada will receive payments in exchange for their participation.

The project has been validated by the "Environment Canada Emissions Elimination and Reduction Pilot Project" (PERRL). The objective of the pilot project is to learn more about all aspects of the carbon trading process with carbon sinks in agricultural soils.

For now, participation is limited to members of soil conservation organizations in Western Canada and the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario.

The area will be limited to 100 247 hectares or acres per producer. Producers will practice direct seeding and culture with minimal ground work. They must meet a number of requirements: do not incinerate waste and does not completely eliminate the growth of culture.

The equivalent amount of carbon dioxide removed (sequestered in the ground) will be determined using a protocol developed by PERRL. Producers will receive $ 11,08 ton of sequestered carbon dioxide. Payments differ depending on soil types and productivity.

Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association believes that agriculture has the potential to help Canada reach more than 20% of its Kyoto target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Express newsletter AgriSuccess Farm Credit Canada, April 15 2005 (click here).

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