Developing Climate Smart Agricultural practices for mitigation of greenhouse gases

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

5 February 2020


Active - Ongoing

Start Date

27 July 2020

Expected End Date

31 December 2025

Participating Countries

Costa Rica
New Zealand
Viet Nam


Agriculture contributes 25% to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. To mitigate the emissions of these GHGs (nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and carbon dioxide (CO2) from agriculture under different agroecosystems, and to optimise capturing atmospheric CO2 through carbon (C) sequestration, there is an urgent need to develop and validate climate-smart agricultural practices.  Based on the outputs and the recommendations from the final research coordination meeting (RCM) of the CRP D1.50.16, the consultants recommended that climate-smart agricultural practices is a promising tool to enhance crop production with lower GHG emissions. However, more quantitative information on the effect of soil processes (e.g. C- and N-dynamics) in relation to land-use changes  are urgently needed. Also, the effect of various soil conditions (e.g. soil temperature, moisture, pH) and other eco-friendly management options (e.g. cropping options utilizing plants releasing biological nitrification inhibitors, plants having high biological nitrogen fixing potentials or agroforestry) should be addressed in more detail. Future research and development shall focus on arable cropping systems, and in particular rice paddy systems, given the reliance of the global population on rice as a staple food crop, especially in developing countries with high population growth. In addition to rice other cereal crops (e.g. maize, wheat) and legumes (e.g. soybean) are also recommended for future studies on GHGs. Under arable cropping systems, researchers shall focus on soil types and soil conditions under different climatic regimes and the impact of farm management practices (e.g. fertilizer type, timing, application rates and technique, irrigation and drainage management) on the effectiveness of nitrogen process inhibitors including urease and nitrification inhibitors to mitigate ammonia (NH3) and GHG (CO2, CH4, N2O) emissions. The GHG budget studies suggest the need to quantify direct and indirect GHG emissions and for a full overall picture, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a suitable tool to assess mitigation strategies because it takes into account C footprints of all stages and aspects of crop production.
A focus of the new CRP should also be on using advanced nuclear techniques to address plant-soil interactions based on C and N isotopes (13C, 15N) and for quantifying major N transformation processes in response to management options under various soil and climate conditions. Upscaling and Life Cycle Analysis (based on C budgeting) should be included at varying scales considering the net effects of all factors contributing to gaseous emissions.


To develop climate-smart agricultural practices for enhancing agricultural productivity, through increased soil C sequestration (based on C budgeting), and mitigation of GHG emissions (N2O, CH4, CO2), and minimise gaseous N losses (NH3, N2) from agricultural systems.

Specific objectives

1.1. To determine C budgets based on the quantification of C fluxes (CO2, CH4) using nuclear and related techniques, to derive soil C sequestration strategies in selected agroecosystems.
1.2. To quantify N2O and N2 emissions using 15N technique to validate agricultural system-specific emission factors (EF).
1.3. To evaluate the effect of N process inhibitors and biochar on soil N transformation rates using 15N technique and to test their N2O mitigation potential within specific agroecosystems (soil, plant, climate)
1.4. To develop guidelines of climate-smart agriculture practices for C sequestration, mitigation of GHG, improved N use efficiency to enhance crop productivity.

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