farmer holding green plant in hands
farmer holding green plant in hands

KARBONMAT: Designing sustainable business model (SBM) concepts for carbon sequestration in soils to transform the Norwegian food system

About the project

Soil represents the basis of our food production. This makes it necessary to put it at the centre of sustainable food system transformations. To achieve a more sustainable primary production, there is a need for adopting soil management practices that improve its health and productivity. Sequestering more carbon in soils appears to be a highly promising management practice in this regard, as it has been shown to have multiple benefits on soil productivity.

Despite the existence of multiple sustainable soil management practices increasing carbon in soils, their adoption remains low in Norway and elsewhere. One of the reasons is high costs of such practices for farmers, while common policy approaches for overcoming financial barriers – subsidies, grants, and tax incentives – have experienced limited success.

Hence, there is a pressing need for a new innovative approach to ensure that farmers are paid for their effort. In KARBONMAT we argue that this can be done through the development of sustainable business model (SBM) concepts for carbon sequestering soil management practices. KARBONMAT will do this by working together closely with relevant stakeholders and by involving a highly interdisciplinary research team from both social and natural sciences. In co-production with relevant stakeholders, KARBONMAT designs SBM concepts for carbon sequestering soils in Norwegian agriculture. Identifying ways to exploit and maximise the potential of this opportunity, to foster healthy soils, capture GHG emissions, improve biodiversity and transform the sustainability of primary production is at the heart of the KARBONMAT project.

Project details

Project number


Project period

01/12/2023 - 30/11/2026

Collaboration partners

HVL, Grønt Fagsenter Buskerud, Tilburg University, University of Western Australia, Norges Vel, Stiftelsen Norsk Mat


The Research Council of Norway


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