Guwahati: Leading scientists from prestigious institutions across the country assembled at the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) and discussed ways to devise low-cost workable solutions to control, reduce or even eliminate methane emissions in the environment through collaboration.
The experts took part in a brainstorming session titled “Agriculture and Livestock of Climate Goals – Technological Roadmap to Net Zero,” which was organised by the International Centre for Climate and Sustainability Action Foundation (ICCSA).
Speaking on the issue, J.S Sharma, head of ICCSA, said, “India is the third largest emitter of methane, behind China and the United States. According to the Global Methane Assessment report by the United Nations, our methane emissions in 2020 were approximately 36 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This means India’s contribution to global methane emissions is about 6 percent. The emissions from the agriculture sector account for about 60 percent.”
Sharma further said while the country is investing in creating clean energy generation infrastructure, it should deploy a regulatory framework to check methane emissions while exploring low-cost workable solutions to control methane emissions.
“There is a need to bring in mainstream mitigation policies to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement that is vital for a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he said.
AICTE chairman T.G Sitharam, chief guest of the session, said, “India has the highest livestock population in the world and most of the livestock is managed in and around village. So we must seriously consider village planning where villagers can be educated on waste management, sustainable water development, and livestock feed and upkeep.”
Rakesh Kumar, an officer on special duty at CSIR headquarters, said, “We believe local sources that are rich in minerals, and vitamins if mixed in cattle feed will not only control methane emissions but also improve milk productivity and thereby increase the income of dairy farmers.”
“Ration balancing/nutrient optimisation is one of the promising strategies for reducing enteric methane emissions and improving the sustainability of dairying in smallholder systems,” Kumar said.
The event was attended by senior scientists from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, IIT Guwahati, All India Council for Technical Education, Banaras Hindu University, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, National Dairy Development Board, besides others.
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Among others, Dr. P K Iyer, officiating director of IIT Guwahati; Dr. Rajbir Singh, director of ICAR-ATARI; Dr. C K Varshney, advisor, ICCSA and former professor and dean of JNU; Dr. Biswapati Mandal, former pro-vice chancellor at Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwavidhalaya; Dr. Anil Kumar Puniya, principal scientist and head, dairy microbial division, ICAR-NDRI; Dr. Arti Bhatia, principal scientist ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute and Dr. Samarendra Hazarika, principal scientist, ICAR research complex for NEH Region took part in the session.
The experts discussed that some of the processes could also work at concentrations of methane lower than other methods and can address even small fractions of one percent, which most methods cannot remove, and does so in the air rather than pure oxygen.
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