Around 990 farmers and ranchers in North Dakota will receive a total of $2.6 million this week from a program that financially rewards farmers for using environment friendly practices. The scheme, named National Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program, accumulates all the carbon savings in the form of carbon credits sellable at the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).
Other businesses at CCX can purchase these credits to offset their own carbon footprint. The nationwide farmers program has disbursed approximately $8.5 million to North Dakotans since it came there two years back, mentioned Robert Carlson, head of North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU).
Overall, around 2,300 farmers and ranchers coming from 20 states are participating in the scheme, which has witnessed a threefold increase in participants over the previous year. Supervisors check farmers lands on the spot to confirm sequestration is taking place. Livestock owners and cattle farmers too can benefit from the scheme by reducing methane emissions from manure. The current rate of carbon credits at the CCX is around $4 per metric ton at present.