Emissions due to fertilizer use account for a major portion of cotton cultivation GHG emissions



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Emissions from fertilizers are the major determinants to overall GHG emissions in cotton cultivation; better fertilizer management is thus crucial for GHG abatement [But only 15% seem to be under irrigation in this study...is this data true for highly irrigated cotton farms too?] - WWF study for cotton cultivation in Warangal, India, 2013.

Some studies suggest that nitrogen fertilizers alone contribute about 21% of total GHG emissions for cotton production. (It is also interesting to note that fertilizer production alone contributes to about 1% of total global GHG emissions - not very high, but not insignificant either).

An interesting experiment done in India ( https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/sme-sector/india-cotton-cultivation-consumes-too-much-produces-too-little-thats-changing/articleshow/71885124.cms?from=mdr ) done in collaboration with Better Cotton Initiative, shows how through intensive farmer training, fertilizer consumption for cotton decreased by 29% over a period of 3 years, a significant reduction for which education and training seemed to have made a good contribution.

With the growth of mobile phones today, we presume most farmers (even poor ones) will have access to at least some level of education and information. If such access is coupled with effective partnerships with organizations such as BCI, one wonders if effective education alone could significantly bring down the overall GHG emissions of cotton, and such education for farmers can go beyond just fertilizers and on to water and pesticides use as well.