International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences (IJCMAS)
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Original Research Articles                      Volume : 9, Issue:11, November, 2020

PRINT ISSN : 2319-7692
Online ISSN : 2319-7706
Issues : 12 per year
Publisher : Excellent Publishers
Email : /
Editor-in-chief: Dr.M.Prakash
Index Copernicus ICV 2018: 95.39
NAAS RATING 2020: 5.38

Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci.2020.9(11): 3077-3102

Carbon Footprint as Prominent Indicator of Agricultural Sustainability in Diverse Agro-climatic Zones of Northern India: A Critical Review
M. Sharath Chandra1*, R.K. Naresh1, Pradeep Rajput1, Pebbeti Chandana2, Pradeep Kumar Singh1 and K. Shivashankar3
1Department of Agronomy, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology, Meerut, U.P., India
2Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India
3Department of Agronomy, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
*Corresponding author

The human population on the planet is estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050; this requires significant increase of food production to meet the demands. Intensified farming systems have been identified as a viable means to increase grain production. Crop production inputs include carbon investment in the form of energy, for the manufacture and use of farm machinery, synthetic fertilizers, crop protection chemicals such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, groundwater irrigation and the direct use of fuel in farm operations. Such production technology operations in the agriculture sector contribute to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. On-farm cultivation operations also result in the loss of soil organic matter (SOM), hence another source of carbon (C) emission. Changes in cropland use and management practices influence direct and indirect energy consumption and emission of GHGs. The latest GHG inventory for India shows that the contribution of agriculture to country’s total emissions is18 per cent, of which about 21per cent is related to nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural soils and18 per cent to rice production. Green revolution technologies in diverse agro-climatic zones of Northern India have led to the overexploitation of the natural resources, especially groundwater. Moreover, GHG driven changing climate is adding to the environmental woes. Under such complex situations, firstly, it becomes very important to register the effect of each management activity on the overall C footprint of crop production. Secondly, as the areal distribution of crops, groundwater extraction and fertilizer consumption has changed invariably within different agro climatic zones of Northern India over time, thus, it is important to do spatio-temporal analysis of the change in C use efficiency, net C returns and C cost per unit of production in different crops. With increase in production level of crops, mainly sugarcane and cereal crops the amount of their residues, subjected to field burning, also grew from 15.9% in 2008-09 to 24% in 2016-17. Sustainability indices, based on inputs and outputs, helped identify crops with lower carbon footprint or more carbon efficient crops. Such spectacular gains in food grain production were mainly because of increased yields resulting from improved crop varieties combined with greater use of fertilizers, irrigation, plant protection chemicals, and other technologies associated with the ‘Green Revolution’. However, these gains in food grain production have come at a cost to the environment. During the last 40 years (1970 to 2010), emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the agriculture sector has increased by 35 percent, from 4.2 to 5.7 Gt CO eq yr-1 (Gt or Giga tonne = 1015g; CO2 = carbon dioxide). The increase has been greater during the decade 2000-2010, when agricultural emissions increased by 1.1 percent annually. Thus, there is a need for sustainable intensification of production systems for maintaining high yields without compromising the environmental integrity.

Keywords: Carbon footprint, Global warming, Greenhouse gas emission, Residue burning, Sustainability

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How to cite this article:

Sharath Chandra, M., R.K. Naresh, Pradeep Rajput, Pebbeti Chandana, Pradeep Kumar Singh and Shivashankar, K. 2020. Carbon Footprint as Prominent Indicator of Agricultural Sustainability in Diverse Agro-climatic Zones of Northern India: A Critical Review.Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci. 9(11): 3077-3102. doi:
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