Decarbonization Agriculture in India: Current State and Way Forward
India is the third-highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter behind China and the United States. India’s farm sector accounts for 14% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, preceded by electricity (44%) and the construction sector (18%).
GHG Emissions Caused by the Agriculture Sector in India
Indian rice fields and their substantial livestock population are the primary causes of methane release. India has the largest population of bovine animals (cattle and buffalo) at 625 million heads. 54.6 per cent of GHG emissions were due to enteric fermentation and 6.7 per cent from poor manure management. India is the world’s largest rice producer by area, estimated at 44.0 million hectares. This constitutes about 7.5 per cent of GHG emissions.
Current status of Sustainable Agricultural Practices in India
Agriculture is an important sector of the Indian economy, contributing about 20% of the national GDP. The changes in climatic events such as temperature, rainfall and atmospheric carbon dioxide can significantly affect crop yields. Consequently, the livelihoods of nearly two-thirds of the population that directly depend on farming for their survival.
As the global population continues to surge, developing countries will need to double food production by 2050. Scientists and policymakers are faced with the challenge of meeting the growing demand for food whilst also reining in on GHG emissions. Farmers’ adoption of technology and practices that are considerate of environmental impact would depend on striking a balance between increased crop productivity and sustainable agricultural practices.
Among others, the following were the most prevalent Sustainable Agricultural Systems in India:
How can Yuktix help?
Yuktix is an Agritech company creating technical solutions to improve the yield and productivity of Indian farms using IoT and AI. The Yuktix GidaBits® platform addresses the need to increase efficiency and enables sustainable agricultural practices based on remote sensing technologies.
Disease and Pest Management: The system combines pathogen incubation cycle and weather forecast with indigenous knowledge of disease indicators and assigns the probability of disease onset. It serves as an effective early warning system by ensuring timely intervention to avoid crop losses.
Smart Irrigation: It helps farmers determine the irrigation schedule (when to irrigate and how much water to apply). This can optimise plant growth, crop yield, crop quality, nutrient management, root zone health, and irrigation decisions.
Crop POP (Package of Practices): The platform contains Ideal crop practices through every stage of the crop cycle - from the planting of saplings to the harvesting stage.
Real-time Monitoring and Alarms: Yuktix Weather Stations provide real-time weather information at the farm level. It measures field parameters through various sensors such as - wind speed & direction, rainfall, solar radiation, light intensity, temperature, humidity, pressure, soil moisture and temperature and leaf wetness. It enables sustainable agriculture practices, urban resilience and climate studies.
Yuktix GidaBits® has helped farmers adopt climate-smart and regenerative
agriculture practices which have resulted in:
Production increase of approximately 30% per hectare basis leading to the income boost
30%-50% water savings in semi-arid and drought-prone areas like Northern Karnataka.
20% reduction in the usage of pesticide
25% increase in production due to POP recommendations
20% decrease in loss due to pest and disease attacks due to EWS and disease management
INR 20,000 worth of Crop Expert consultation during a season
Helped farmers adopt climate-smart and sustainable agriculture practices
Yuktix Device in a Guava Plantation
Wang, Sonam & Lee, Woo-Kyun & Son, Yowhan. (2017). Low Carbon Development Pathways in Indian Agriculture. Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems. 3. 10.1515/cass-2017-0002.
Sustainable Agriculture in India 2021. What We Know and How to Scale Up
Vetter SH, Sapkota TB, Hillier J, Stirling CM, Macdiarmid JI, Aleksandrowicz L, Green R, Joy EJ, Dangour AD, Smith P. Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural food production to supply Indian diets: Implications for climate change mitigation. Agric Ecosyst Environ. 2017 Jan 16;237:234-241. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.12.024.
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