National ,28th June 2023

Towards a symbiotic relationship: Innovations to address agriculture and climate change

Yara India overhauls Babrala urea unit to cut energy use



he story of climate change and agriculture is very closely entwined. In fact, many scientific reports suggest that agriculture is the most endangered activity adversely affected by climate change, with grave consequences such as declining global crop yields and overall food security. 1 Undoubtedly,
unscheduled rainfall and other extreme weather events have devastating effects on crops. However, it is not only agriculture that suffers; the sector is also one of the contributors to the climate problem, with a share of 19-29% of total greenhouse gas emissions. 2 This Earth Day, as we commit to ‘Invest in Our Planet’, we must look at how to maintain a balance between agriculture and climate change. This will be imperative to safeguard overall food security –a pressing global concern. As of 2021, approximately 11% of the global population went hungry.

How do we find a balance between agriculture and climate change?

An emerging paradigm in sustainable farming and a prerequisite for ensuring food security, put forward by agronomists and policymakers, is that of climate-smart agriculture. This emphasizes an integrated approach to landscape management with a focus on increasing agricultural productivity,
enhancing resilience, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate-smart agriculture underscores the importance of innovation in developing lowcarbon and carbon-neutral solutions to mitigate climate change impact and reduce the overall carbon footprint of the agricultural value chain. As the world becomes aware of the urgent need to address climate change, many industries are looking to reduce their environmental impact. In the fertilizer industry, one area of innovation is the use of green ammonia, rather than traditional nitrogen-based fertilizers such as urea and ammonia. It is estimated that the production of one ton of urea, the most widely used fertilizer in the country results in the emission of two tons of carbon dioxide. 3 Green ammonia, on the other hand is produced using renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power, rather than fossil fuels and has the capacity to curtail emissions by as much as 90%. 4

revealing a food system that operates at suboptimal levels and a world that is moving further away from the SDG goals of ending hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition.

Importance of micronutrient coating on commodity fertilizers

Micronutrient coating on commodity fertilizers is a game-changing innovation that has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural industry. The present situation concerning the use of plastic packaging and transportation of micronutrients is fraught with environmental challenges. The persistent nature of plastic packaging, stemming from its poor biodegradability, poses grave threats to the ecosystem in the form of wildlife hazards, water pollution, and landfill accumulation. Likewise, the partitioned conveyance of micronutrients to agricultural sites can exacerbate the energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and vehicular congestion issues.

4 From Fertilizer to Fuel: Can ‘Green’ Ammonia Be a Climate Fix? - Yale E360