Climate impacts of natural farming: A cradle to gate comparison between conventional practice and Andhra Pradesh Community Natural Farming

Todd S. Rosenstock, Megan Mayzelle, Nictor Namoi, Peter Fantke

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of a comparative assessment of Andhra Pradesh Community Natural Farming (APCNF) and conventional management systems across six cropping systems in Andhra Pradesh, India. The six crops investigated, i.e. paddy rice, groundnut, maize, chillies, cotton and Bengal gram, account for more than 80% of crop area in the state. Greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprint) were assessed using methods consistent with Life Cycle Analysis. Given the potential for APCNF to affect multiple ecological, economic and social aspects of farming, the study also briefly comments on preliminary results for yields, costs, gender-differentiated labor, ecosystem impact, and human toxicity by synthesizing the available literature and reporting preliminary results from data collection. The results suggest that APCNF emissions are likely to be significantly lower than those of conventional systems. APCNF would reduce emissions by a minimum of 23% in comparison to conventional practices at the field level. A transition to APCNF could save on average of 5.1 million tonnes CO2eq year-1, which is approximately equal to mitigating 30% of emissions from this cropland. Massive potential for emission reductions remain untapped in terms of residue management, paddy rice water management, livestock, and agroforestry. Trends in preliminary data on other social and environmental outcomes support previous studies, and would seem to indicate that APCNF may generate substantial benefits for the people and landscapes of Andhra Pradesh.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch & Reviews : Journal of Agriculture and Allied Sciences
ISSN2319-9857
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

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