Enhanced Rock Weathering in the Global South: Exploring Potential for Enhanced Agricultural Productivity and Carbon dioxide Drawdown
F. Garrett Boudinot, Gabrielle Dreyfus, Caitlan Frederick, Yifan Powers
Precision Development (PxD) and the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) are partnering on a unique initiative to collaboratively identify opportunities for innovation in climate change mitigation, particularly for the greenhouse gases most problematic in agricultural production, methane and nitrous oxide, as well as carbon dioxide. We are specifically focused on innovations with pertinence to the world’s smallholder farmers, who farm most of the world’s approximately 570 million farms.1 The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines these smallholder farmers as “small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest keepers, fishers who manage areas varying from less than one hectare to 10 hectares and are characterized by family-focused motives such as favouring the stability of the farm household system, using mainly family labour for production and using part of the produce for family consumption.”2 The majority of farms in the Global South3, a term used to denote the regions of Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Oceania, are small and it is within this broad geography and smallholder farming context which we focus our climate change mitigation initiative. This initiative includes four analytical pieces on the following opportunities for climate change mitigation by smallholder famers:
• carbon dioxide sequestration through enhanced rock weathering,
• carbon dioxide sequestration through conserving (keeping what is already present) or increasing (i.e.,
sequestering) the organic carbon storage in soils and plant biomass,
• nitrous oxide mitigation through precision nutrient management, and
• methane mitigation in dairy through improved livestock feeding practices.