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Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers Richard Fowler Conservation Agriculture Capacitator South Africa FAO/CTIC Conservation Agriculture.

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Presentation on theme: "Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers Richard Fowler Conservation Agriculture Capacitator South Africa FAO/CTIC Conservation Agriculture."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers Richard Fowler Conservation Agriculture Capacitator South Africa FAO/CTIC Conservation Agriculture Carbon Offset Consultation October 2008 West Lafayette, USA

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3 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 Presentation Who / why & what! The African farmer Past Present Future CA & C-related Challenges Opportunities A way forward

4 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 Who is Richard Fowler? Swaziland South Africa ARC – GCI No till research CT for SSF ACT TCP & national CA consultant CA capacitator2006- CAT(UFH & ECDA) Misc SE Africa consultancies

5 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 Why this presentation? Our Continent is bleeding ……. bleedingliterally to death! to death!

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7 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 Why this presentation (2)? The vast majority of farmers in Africa are small scale landowners trying desperately to survive Inter alia by deliberately but often inadvertently exploiting or degrading natural resources (including Carbon & OM) at the expense of their fellow citizens and future generations. Conservation Agriculture is the way to go, but needs promotion by independent Conservation-driven groupings. Groups owing predominant allegiance to (and therefore being funded in the main by) only the farmers and future they serve.

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12 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 What do we hope to achieve in this presentation? Develop & present for discussion ways in which Carbon offsets or credits could generate funding for the promotion of the accelerated adoption of Conservation Agriculture in Africa.

13 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-past Hunter / gathererHunter / gatherer Slash & burnSlash & burn Wooden ploughWooden plough Steel plough (mouldboard)Steel plough (mouldboard) ColonialColonial ProviderProvider CompetitorCompetitor DisplaceeDisplacee LabourerLabourer AidAid RecipientRecipient ExploiterExploiter DependantDependant

14 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present Urban migrantUrban migrant LandholderLandholder AidAid RecipientRecipient ExploiterExploiter DependantDependant

15 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present CAT RRA: whatever you do, NO handouts. Handouts have turned our people into beggars

16 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 LabourLittleSomePlenty Finance Little Little lf Lf Lf Some Some lF LF LF Plenty Plenty lF LF LF

17 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present Sub-subsistenceSub-subsistence SubsistenceSubsistence EmergingEmerging CommercialCommercial

18 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present Sub-subsistenceSub-subsistence live (or have the right to occupy) land in the rural areaslive (or have the right to occupy) land in the rural areas depend on outside sources (employment, remittances, aid)depend on outside sources (employment, remittances, aid) do nothing with the land or just scratch around to show they existdo nothing with the land or just scratch around to show they exist frequently will not allow others even to hire their land for fear they will be disowned by authoritiesfrequently will not allow others even to hire their land for fear they will be disowned by authorities

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20 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present SubsistenceSubsistence produce primarily food sufficient for family needsproduce primarily food sufficient for family needs no room for expansionno room for expansion holdings decrease and fragment with successionholdings decrease and fragment with succession too small to become viable economic units, esp for successorstoo small to become viable economic units, esp for successors farmers often old women trapped in rural areasfarmers often old women trapped in rural areas

21 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present EmergingEmerging rural entrepreneursrural entrepreneurs often induced by aid (many of whom with no real desire to farm)often induced by aid (many of whom with no real desire to farm) true entrepreneurs frequently frustrated by lack of capital and/or problems associated with accessing and/or servicing loan financetrue entrepreneurs frequently frustrated by lack of capital and/or problems associated with accessing and/or servicing loan finance younger men & women, often with little or no agricultural background, esp in commercial agricultureyounger men & women, often with little or no agricultural background, esp in commercial agriculture Zimbabwe Tobacco Growers initiative University of Fort Hare Agri-Trust Dairy farm

22 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present CommercialCommercial inheritedinherited large scalelarge scale viableviable community and government discriminationcommunity and government discrimination

23 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-present We too often forget the % in our own * countries * communities who are in any way involved in farming! And the percentage of those who are farmers!! And the percentage of those who are GOOD farmers!!!

24 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-future It has been forecast that the area least effected by climate change on the Continent will be East Africa, where millions of hectares of rangeland will be ploughed to take advantage of better cropping potentials!! Millions of hectares? Millions of tonnes of C!!!

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26 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-future The HIGH road ConservationAgriculture Conservation Agriculture increasing yields re-establishing & benefiting from natural systems reducing dependence on external inputs increasing prosperity increasing national, community & family sufficiency, well-being & unity decreasing C emissions

27 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The African farmer-future The low road Conventional Agriculture increasing C emissions decreasing yields increasing food dependence on external sources increasing urban drift increasing > Unemployment > Poverty > Conflict > Crime

28 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 The Time to choose! The Time to act!! is NOW !!!

29 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 CA-related challenges CA adoption -paradigm shift, shattering compaction -tertiary teaching & teacher tell -insufficient & poorly prepared EOs -politicians handouts -international donors top-down -aid rescue packages -mulch establishment & maintenance wild fires etc

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32 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 C-related challenges back-sliding wild fires measurement monitoring

33 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 CA-related opportunities - starting from where farmers are - multi-cropping > security > cash generation > increasing utilisation & regeneration of natural resources - blocking under management units > better management > more opportunity for, and increasing pest management by, natural systems such as engendered by crop rotation - increased opportunities for community members to exploit their skills & abilities - more stable, self-reliant, contented rural communities, areas & nations

34 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 C-related opportunities - ICRAF/Earth Institute/Michigan State measurement initiative - block farming - including revenue from wildfire reduction - researching & introducing alternative C-sequestering strategies e.g. high lignin; underground biomass

35 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 C-related opportunities (2) Although larger commercial CA farmers could benefit from direct dealings with professional C-traders, they could benefit even more by the - establishment of CA Associations * farmer-owned * function inter alia > identifying > measuring > monitoring > selling & disbursing proceeds from C-offsets > retaining and utilising a service fee (viz. that portion which would normally be retained by a professional agent) & using it i.a. to * promote the adoption of CA * establish & maintain a CA-advisory service.

36 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 A way forward CA CA is technically sound environmentally friendly cost-effective. Its rapid immediate adoption is essential for the survival of the peoples and Continent of Africa.

37 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 A way forward (cont) CAs principles are in many instances in direct conflict with vested interests, esp. of politicians, academics, bureaucrats, etc. as well as multi-nationals & other commercial interests etc.

38 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 A way forward (cont) An alternative promotional system whose sole interest is the sustained adoption of CA is therefore urgently required An alternative promotional system whose sole interest is the sustained adoption of CA is therefore urgently required.

39 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 A way forward (cont) Such a system would preferably be organised & owned or at least controlled or at least controlled by farmers by farmers

40 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 A way forward (cont) By setting up & maintaining a C- credit marketing scheme, and utilising profits generated to stimulate the adoption of CA, a win-win situation could result, with i.a. initiators service charges decreasing as adoption increased. and utilising profits generated to stimulate the adoption of CA, a win-win situation could result, with i.a. initiators service charges decreasing as adoption increased.

41 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 A way forward (cont) Such a system could provide a feasible method by which SSF could benefit from C-sequestration. provide a feasible method by which SSF could benefit from C-sequestration.

42 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 A way forward (cont)However 1.Income generated by such a C-marketing scheme could be insignificant to farmers with very small holdings; 2.The establishment of such a scheme might require the assistance and advice of a professional group already involved in C-trading; 3.Initiation and possibly ongoing operations and/or income distributed might benefit from Triple Bottom Line assistance from a commercial company or companies.

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45 Carbon credit challenges & opportunities for African farmers FAO/CTIC, Purdue USA. October 2008 Thank you!

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