Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 534365
Title Carbon footprinting of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production systems in Zimbabwe
Author(s) Svubure, O.; Struik, P.C.; Haverkort, A.J.; Steyn, J.M.
Source Outlook on Agriculture 47 (2018)1. - ISSN 0030-7270 - p. 3 - 10.
Department(s) Crop Physiology
PPO/PRI AGRO Toegepaste Plantenecologie
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) benchmarking - climate change mitigation - Cool Farm Tool-Potato - Greenhouse gas emission
Abstract Agriculture contributes significantly to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Farmers need to fine-tune agricultural practices to balance the trade-offs between increasing productivity in order to feed a growing population and lowering GHG emissions to mitigate climate change and its impact on agriculture. We conducted a survey on the major cultural practices in four potato production systems in Zimbabwe, namely large-scale commercial, communal area, A1 and A2 resettlement production systems. The resettlement production systems were formed from the radical Fast Track Land Reform Programme initiated in 2000, which changed the landscape of commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe. We used survey data as an input into the ‘Cool Farm Tool – Potato’ model. The model calculates the contributions of various production operations to total GHG emission. Experienced growers were targeted. The average carbon footprint calculated was 251 kg CO2 eq./t potato harvested, ranging from 216 kg CO2 eq./t to 286 kg CO2 eq./t in the communal area and A2 resettlement production systems, respectively. The major drivers of the GHG emissions were fertilizer production and soil-related field emissions, which together accounted for on average 56% of the total emissions across all production systems. Although mitigation options were not assessed, the model outputs the factors/farm operations and their respective emission estimates allowing growers to choose the inputs and operations to reduce their carbon footprint. Opportunities for benchmarking as an incentive to improve performance exist given the large variation in GHG emission between individual growers.
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