Agricultural Sources of Greenhouse Gases

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Contribution to Books

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Environment and Waste Management - Volume 3: Acid Rain and Greenhouse Gas Pollution Control


Globally, agriculture is the main source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Agricultural production systems aim to secure food production, but they have to minimize GHG emissions. The growing global population is putting a pressure on agricultural production systems. GHG emissions are associated with the production of major food commodities in India. These 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 CO2-equiv/kg rice, 45.54 kg CO2-equiv/kg mutton meat, and 2.4 kg CO2-equiv/kg milk. Production of cereals (except rice), fruits, and vegetables in India emits comparatively less GHGs with <1 kg CO2-equiv/kg product. This research thus suggests that a shift toward dietary patterns with a 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 the current levels and can probably be compatible with increased future food production and consumption demands in India.