Identifying Low Emissions Development Pathways – Synergies and Trade-offs: A Case Study of Mahbubnagar District, Telangana, India
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This case study examines the opportunities for obtaining synergies between agricultural productivity, wholefarm profitability and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and highlights where trade-offs exist. We explore how agricultural practices and systems can be designed and managed to balance the synergies and trade-offs for small-holder farmers in semi-arid India. We used data on farm-household characteristics and agricultural practices from 100 farm-households of Telangana state, India. Quantifying synergies and trade-offs between profitability, adaptation and mitigation we employed simulation modelling- crop, livestock and whole-farm simulation models, and Cool Farm Tool to estimate net GHG emissions. Our analysis reveals that specific plot-level crop management strategies and farm-level enterprise interventions can increase profitability as well as benefit climate change mitigation. It depict how farming systems can be managed to achieve synergies between profitability and mitigation outcomes and where, if any trade-offs exist. Combinations of reduced tillage, retaining crop-residue, improved nitrogen management, utilizing organic manure, improved livestock feeding practices, introducing agro-forestry could contribute to GHG abatement and improved profitability at our study site. Such multi-model systems analysis using participatory design and tools could help practitioners and policymakers to identify and promote use of management practices that can help achieve multiple objectives and guide investments towards synergistic climate smart agriculture strategies. Our study contributes empirical evidence to the debate surrounding integrated approaches to sustainable development goals and adaptation and mitigation objectives.