Rubber farmers encouraged to use carbon credits for income generation

MONDAY, MAY 22, 2023

The Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) is urging rubber farmers to generate income from the carbon market in a bid to comply with the European Union's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

CBAM is a measure to collect carbon tax on export products which will come into effect on October 1 this year with the aim of expanding carbon credit trading. It is also part of the EU's European Green Deal to reduce at least 55% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Carbon credits, sometimes called carbon offsets, are permits that allow the owner to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. Farmers can make money by reducing their emissions and selling excess credits.

RAOT governor Nakorn Takwiraphat said the price of carbon credits generated from rubber trees is low because the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO) has declared rubber trees as agricultural crops.

He said the agency has submitted a table showing the amount of carbon credits generated by rubber trees to the TGO for consideration.

Rubber farmers should be able to generate income from carbon credits of between 50-422 baht per tonne of carbon, he said.

He said RAOT will provide advice and help rubber farmers with carbon credit trading to meet customers' requirements.

The authority has also asked the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to certify carbon credit for rubber plantations, he added.

"Last year, RAOT allowed farmers to register for participation in the Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Programme (T-VER)," he said, adding that this year and in 2024, RAOT will request carbon credit certification for sale in the carbon market.

He confirmed that rubber trees are able to store carbon, especially in the five years before rubber tapping.

Rubber farmers can generate income from selling carbon credits before tapping, he said.

He said farmers can reduce carbon emissions further by decreasing the use of chemicals and fuels, as well as adjusting production and transport methods.

In addition, RAOT has discussed with the International Rubber Research and Development Board about enabling rubber farmers to generate more income from carbon credits, he added.

Rubber farmers encouraged to use carbon credits for income generation

DOA director-general Rapeepat Chantarasriwong said the department has signed a memorandum of understanding with the TGO on promoting the T-VER programme, using its rubber tree plantation to study greenhouse gas emissions and is also developing its personnel to certify carbon credit for farmers.

Thailand's three main rubber products, namely rubber sticks, concentrated latex and smoked rubber sheets, emit around 0.5-0.7 tons of carbon dioxide apiece, he said.

He advised entrepreneurs to be prepared for climate change-related measures by making the production process eco-friendly thus maintaining competitiveness on the global market.