India should switch to no-till farming: Scientist

farmingIn a run up to the world climate change meet at Copenhagen, Environment Scientist and director of Stockholm Environment and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Johan Rockstrom, visited the city on Monday.

Though the professor in natural resource management felt that the outcome at the Copenhagen summit looks ‘gloomy’, he suggested that India should switch to clean technology for its own survival.

“Business has to change if India wants to save its fresh water supplies,” said Rockstrom, claiming that India is a great risk from climate change.

Considering that India is an agro-based economy, he said 30 per cent of carbon emissions is caused be old farming techniques. “India has to stop ploughing to cut down emission.”

He added that by switching to no-till farming, the country will not only cut down carbon dioxide emissions but also improve the fertility of the soil. In this way of farming, crop residues or other organic amenities are retained on the soil surface and sowing or fertilising is done with minimal soil disturbance.

Several countries like Latin America has adopted to no-till farming. About 40 per cent of farming in the US, for instance, is no-till farming.

Rockstrom added that India should have a feed-in tariff system to draw foreign companies to invest in clean technology like solar and wind-based energy.

Feed-in tariff is a premium rate paid for power fed back into the electricity grid from a designated renewable electricity generation source like a rooftop solar PV system or wind turbine. This system for renewable energy exists in 40 countries like Australia and Portugal.