According to reports, carbon revenue cheques were distributed to 52 farmers in Gitam University here on Wednesday evening in a programme jointly arranged by VEDA Climate Change Solutions Ltd (VCCL), JK Paper Mills Ltd (JKPL) and Gitam Centre for Integrated Rural Development (CIRD) under Improving Rural Livelihood Project.
Gitam president M.V.V.S Murthi gave away the cheques to farmers. According to a press release, it is the first project in Asia to release the revenue to the farmers as part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the reforestation large scale sector.
The project has been conceptualised, developed and implemented by VCCSL in partnership with JK Paper Mills of Rayagada and BioCarbon Fund of the World Bank with the technical support of GITAM CIRD.
VCCL Executive Director Sai Kishore said that they motivated impoverished farmers to raise tree plantations on highly degraded agricultural lands in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. He said initially they selected Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts in Andhra Pradesh and Koraput, Kalahandi, Rayagada Districts in Odisha.
He said 1,590 farmers were involved in the project and they brought under the plough 1607.7 hectares of waste land in both States.
Most of the farmers are small and marginal and around 15 per cent are from the minority community and women farmers.
JK Paper Mills General Manager B.P. Rathod said the company had taken up the project as a part of the CSR activity.
He said it would be extended to other parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Vice-Chancellor G. Subrahmanyam announced that the university was planning to start a special institute to teach agricultural subjects and it would also establish a research centre in Bangalore. GITAM CIRD scientist K.Venkateswara Rao presided over the function.