Carbon Footprint of Crop Cultivation Process Under Semiarid Conditions

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Abstract

Agriculture is one of the major sectors that get affected as well as cause climate change. Arid and semiarid regions of the world are expected to become more vulnerable to climate change. Thus, in order to develop appropriate mitigation or adaptive strategies, carbon footprint analysis of agriculture sector becomes crucial. Emissions resulting from the cultivation process depend on the inputs used and the environmental conditions. The present study is an effort to analyze the carbon footprint of agriculture crops cultivated in the state of Karnataka with 80% land under rainfed agriculture under semiarid tropical conditions. About 5.37 terra grams of carbon equivalent (TgCE) was found to occur annually. Cereals contributed 5.04 TgCE/year of which 78% comes from rice, as it emits methane in addition to CO2 and NO2. Possible approaches to reduce methane emission are discussed including the possibility of replacing the area under rice with other crops without affecting the dietary as well as peoples preferences. Inorganic nitrogen fertilizer use in the cultivation process accounts for 72% of the total emissions. Combining pulse crops effectively in conventional practices of crop rotation and mixed cropping systems can help in reducing emissions. Manual agriculture followed due to small land holdings facilitates low energy use (8%) under rainfed agriculture, resulting in low carbon input. Irrigated agriculture recorded 4.19 TgCE/year which is almost 3.5 times more than the rainfed agriculture practice. Among the two cropping seasons, Kharif season which is the major cropping season recorded 3.85 TgCE/year against 1.52 TgCE/year during Rabi season. Most tropical regions with fragmented land, low carbon emission as well as with the low productivity need to be treated differently.

Keywords

Carbon footprint GHG emission Rainfed agriculture Climate mitigation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank the Karnataka State, Department of Agriculture, for sharing the data.

Supplementary material

40003_2018_315_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 kb)

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Copyright information

© NAAS (National Academy of Agricultural Sciences) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forestry and Environmental ScienceUniversity of Agricultural Sciences, GKVKBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Agriculture StatisticsUniversity of Agricultural Sciences, GKVKBangaloreIndia

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