TRI, Intellecap and Rabobank Launches Innovative Carbon Credit Finance Project Benefiting 1 lakh+ Farmers in Jharkhand

TRI, Intellecap and Rabobank Launches Innovative Carbon Credit Finance Project Benefiting 1 lakh+ Farmers in Jharkhand

Transform Rural India (TRI) has joined forces with Intellecap and ACORN (Rabobank) to unveil a groundbreaking Carbon Credit Finance Project set to empower more than 100,000 farmers in the state of Jharkhand.

The initiative targets farmers who have received support under the Birsa Harit Gram Yojana since 2018, facilitating their integration into the Rabobank ACORN platform. Predominantly benefiting women farmers, this group has dedicated over 100,000 acres of rural land to fruit orchards and local timber tree plantations, thanks to the backing from the Government of Jharkhand under the Birsa Harit Gram Yojna (BHGY) of MGNREGA. The farmers will now reap benefits for carbon removal over the next 15-20 years.

This project ensures the long-term care of trees beyond the BHGY support period by helping smallholder farmers secure additional financial support from carbon markets. Remarkably, this comes with no financial risk to the farmers or any required investment from them or the government. The project’s design inception began in December 2022, with the collaboration of implementation partners in support of the Jharkhand government.

Santosh K. Singh, Managing Director of Agri and Climate at Intellecap, expressed their commitment to increasing smallholder farmers’ income and transitioning them to climate-smart agriculture. Singh stated, “By supporting climate finance, specifically carbon finance, the project enables this transition to profitable and climate-resilient agricultural practices. We also are looking at the ecosystem that is needed for achieving this and the platform works with government agencies, investors, and corporates to help smallholder farmers.”

The project is grounded in the principle of fair payment to farmers, with 80% of the generated carbon credit revenue being directly transferred to the farmers’ accounts. In addition to carbon credits, the partners will explore avenues to provide additional benefits to farmers through the Government of India Green Credit platform and other global biodiversity platforms.

The project aims to ensure the proper maintenance of plantations, boost the income of smallholder farmers, and create local employment opportunities. Data collection and onboarding of BHGY farmers have already commenced, with over 150 farmers from the Bero and Angara blocks of the Ranchi district undergoing the onboarding process. The project has received support from the Government of Jharkhand & Rural Development Department (GoJ).

Ashok Kumar, Director of Farm Prosperity at Transforming Rural India Foundation, expressed excitement about the project, stating, “At TRIF, we are excited about this pioneering Carbon Credit Finance Project with ACORN and Intellecap to support over 1 Lakh women smallholder farmers with support from the Jharkhand Govt. This will ensure an increase in the income of smallholder farmers as well as support the state’s active role in developing a climate action plan and taking necessary steps to tackle climate change. This project aims to be the guide and champion of smallholder farmers from Jharkhand for climate/carbon finance.”

In January of this year, Intellecap and Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF) had previously developed the climate action platform with the aim of increasing farmers’ income and building resilience against various aspects of climate change.

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