The Federal Government has approved a new source of revenue for farmers in arid and semi-arid areas of Australia by introducing credits for farmers who plant and maintain native trees on their properties.
Under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), farmers are encouraged to plant certain types of Eucalyptus species called mallee, which store carbon in soils. The total amount of carbon stored over the life of a tree can be brought forward to create carbon certificates which farmers can cash in and sell.
“Just like other commodities, they will be able to sell these units to businesses wanting to offset their carbon pollution, or to companies that sell carbon-neutral products,” said Yvette D’Ath, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig said in addition to the economic benefits, mallee plantings “can lift the overall productivity of [farmers] land, reduce dryland salinity, wind or water erosion, provide shelter for livestock and enhance biodiversity”.
Over 50 per cent of Australian Eucalyptus species are known as mallees. They are mostly slow growing, tough trees with multiple stems and are associated with dryer areas.