A Multi-Model Systems Approach for Identifying Low Emissions Development Pathways– Analyzing Synergies and Trade-offs in Semiarid Agriculture in India
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Kumar Shalander, Sravya Mamidanna, KPC Rao, Soumitra Pramanik, M. D. M. Kadiyala, Anthony Whitbread. (1/8/2019). A Multi-Model Systems Approach for Identifying Low Emissions Development Pathways– Analyzing Synergies and Trade-offs in Semiarid Agriculture in India. India.
Food security in the face of changing climate has pushed governments and development actors to focus efforts on improving adaptation, however, going forward besides adaptation, mitigation efforts to reduce GHG emissions are of global significance and calls for triple-win solutions with positive contributions to productivity, adaptation and mitigation. An emerging paradigm for promoting mitigation in agriculture is the Low-Emissions Development (LED) strategies. LED acknowledge broader sustainable development goals and identify mitigation practices compatible with these goals. This case study examines the opportunities for obtaining synergies between agricultural productivity, whole-farm profitability and GHG mitigation and highlights where trade-offs exist and explores 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 from 100 farm-households of Telangana state, India on farm-household characteristics and agricultural practices. 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.