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Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural food production to supply Indian diets : Implications for climate change mitigation

Author: Vetter, S.H.
Author: Sapkota, T.B.
Author: Hillier, J.
Author: Stirling, C.
Author: Macdiarmid, J.I.
Author: Aleksandrowicz, L.
Author: Green, R.
Author: Joy, E.J.M.
Author: Dangour, A.D.
Author: Smith, P.
Year: 2017
Year: 2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/18610
Descriptors: Greenhouse gases
Descriptors: Food production
Descriptors: Climate change mitigation
Abstract: Agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. The growing global population is putting pressure on agricultural production systems that aim to secure food production while minimising GHG emissions. In this study, the GHG emissions associated with the production of major food commodities in India are calculated using the Cool Farm Tool. GHG emissions, based on farm management for major crops (including cereals like wheat and rice, pulses, potatoes, fruits and vegetables) and livestock-based products (milk, eggs, chicken and mutton meat), are quantified and compared. Livestock and rice production were found to be the main sources of GHG emissions in Indian agriculture with a country average of 5.65 kg CO2eq kg−1 rice, 45.54 kg CO2eq kg−1 mutton meat and 2.4 kg CO2eq kg−1 milk. Production of cereals (except rice), fruits and vegetables in India emits comparatively less GHGs with <1 kg CO2eq kg−1 product. These findings suggest that a shift towards dietary patterns with greater consumption of animal source foods could greatly increase GHG emissions from Indian agriculture. A range of mitigation options are available that could reduce emissions from current levels and may be compatible with increased future food production and consumption demands in India.
Abstract: Agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. The growing global population is putting pressure on agricultural production systems that aim to secure food production while minimising GHG emissions. In this study, the GHG emissions associated with the production of major food commodities in India are calculated using the Cool Farm Tool. GHG emissions, based on farm management for major crops (including cereals like wheat and rice, pulses, potatoes, fruits and vegetables) and livestock-based products (milk, eggs, chicken and mutton meat), are quantified and compared. Livestock and rice production were found to be the main sources of GHG emissions in Indian agriculture with a country average of 5.65 kg CO2eq kg−1 rice, 45.54 kg CO2eq kg−1 mutton meat and 2.4 kg CO2eq kg−1 milk. Production of cereals (except rice), fruits and vegetables in India emits comparatively less GHGs with <1 kg CO2eq kg−1 product. These findings suggest that a shift towards dietary patterns with greater consumption of animal source foods could greatly increase GHG emissions from Indian agriculture. A range of mitigation options are available that could reduce emissions from current levels and may be compatible with increased future food production and consumption demands in India.
Language: English
Publisher: Elsevier Masson
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Country: India
Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pages: 234-241
Journal: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Journal volume: 237
DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.12.024
Audicence: Researchers
Country of Focus: INDIA


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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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