INNOVATION EXPLAINED

Local governments play an important role in promoting environmental measures. They can adapt the measures to local conditions and reward in a proper way. In this part, we will elaborate on an example from Belgium.

In Beenem, Belgium, the government decided to compensate for a nearby carpark by promoting C sequestration on farms. For this, they started a pilot project where farmers can use pastures to grow their crops, if they apply measures to sequester carbon. In 2020, they were able to sequester 3,2 ton of C in the soil, which corresponds to the average emissions of five cars. As the project was successful, they extended by making additional plots of land available. Every farmer who was interested could subscribe and 10 farmers were selected. Experts from Inagro and Boerennatuur Vlaanderen support them. During several info sessions, they exchange knowledge and experience. They explain more about sowing tall fescue under maize, sowing a green manure crop after cereal cultivation, modified grassland management and sowing grass clover. Within this project, they follow-up what the exact additional cost is of applying the techniques. This because in the future they want to change to a fee or reduction in rent, rather than free use of plots. In addition, the farmers can make use of the 'Carbon scan*'. A consultant from Inagro will map the possibilities of C farming for the individual farm. Promising techniques, their application, and the costs and benefits of carbon farming are discussed. 

The pilot project is linked and supported by the Interreg-project Carbon farming.

 *Carbon scan

A carbon scan focuses initially on the importance of increasing organic matter in the soil. From the specific company management perspective, potentials and the most promising techniques are examined and how they can be put into practice. In addition, the associated costs and benefits are considered.


IMPACT ON

Socio-economic resilience

  • Taking measures will cost money for the farmer. It isn interesting for the farmer to participate in initiatives like this, this will cover the main part of the investment costs

Animal health and welfare

Production efficiency and meat quality

  • Different species of crops can improve production efficiency and meat quality. Depending on feed evaluation, mineral content or other substances. 

Environmental sustainability

  • C-sequestration
  • Overall decrease in CO2 footprint


AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIAL

Earning Models for Carbon Farming: A Belgian Case Study. Click here.
General infofiche of C-sequestration and potential of techniques (in Dutch).