AgForce is seeking expressions of interest from members, as we prepare to launch our ground-breaking AgCarE initiative.
In development since 2019, AgCarE (Agriculture Carbon and the Environment) is an accounting program that strengthens our move toward a natural capital approach - identifying, acknowledging and rating rural property performance on a case-by-case basis.
AgCarE is essentially our response to our membership's frustration at not being able to access currently available carbon markets - like the federal government's Emissions Reduction Fund - because the cost and complexity of doing so is prohibitive for most family farming operations in Queensland.
Suitable for all properties, our program identifies low cost, medium risk options for carbon abatement, drought mitigation, improved biodiversity, and sustainable long-term landscape management and business resilience.
It also focuses on the water cycle, vegetation and soil health’s contribution at property level for supporting sustainable production and biodiversity, as well as recognising the landowner’s role in helping reduce global warming.
As well as an evaluation of natural capital condition, advice is provided on property suitability for carbon, offsets, biodiversity and other emerging markets.
Round 1 testing, carried out in 2021, involved 37 properties and identified that all involved properties are sequestering carbon at a net position (as opposed to emitting it), but that have some room for improving their natural capital condition and property performance.
Round 2 testing is currently underway using learnings from Round 1 and involving all four AgForce commodities (cattle, sheep and wool, cane, and grains) in further engagement with more than 25 properties.
If all goes to plan, AgCarE is due public release on June 30 this year.
Members keen to be involved are encouraged to get in early and complete an expression-of-interest form.