Greenhouse gas emission analyses from nine agricultural development projects reveal mitigation options
This blog by the CGIAR’s research program on climate change, agriculture and food security (CCAFS) discusses analyses from nine agricultural development projects, which show that some agricultural practices contribute to improved food security and climate change mitigation. These analyses can help prioritize agricultural practices that contribute to sustainable development goals in food security and climate. Additionally they serve to improve understanding of how different agricultural management practices impact yields, net greenhouse gas emissions and emission intensity. For irrigated rice the practices alternate wetting and drying (AWD), and urea deep placement (UDP) show food security and climate benefits, which is found in the project in Bangladesh (PDF). Periodically drying the paddy can reduce methane emissions and reduce water use as compared to continuous flooding. UDP improves nutrient use efficiency and reduces the amount of fertilizer needed compared to surface broadcasting. Another agricultural practice, perennial crops and agroforestry, creates conditions in which plants and soil can store more carbon and/or reduces emissions associated with fertilizer (PDF). For livestock, the practices of herd size management and grassland improvements show positive effects. In general, a small but efficient herd increases productivity per animal and results in lower net greenhouse gas emissions. Grassland improvements contribute to increased agricultural productivity and provide mitigation co-benefits by sequestering more carbon in soil and biomass (PDF).