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Smallholder cropping systems contribute limited greenhouse gas fluxes in upper Eastern Kenya

Lemarpe, Shaankua; Musafiri, Collins M.; Kiboi, Milka; Ng'etich, Onesmus K.; Macharia, Joseph M.; Shisanya, Chris A.; Kibet, Esphorn; Zeila, Abdirahman; Mutuo, Paul and Ngetich, F.K. (2023) Smallholder cropping systems contribute limited greenhouse gas fluxes in upper Eastern Kenya. Nature-Based Solutions, 4 (100098), pp. 1-9.

[thumbnail of Lemarpe et al., (2023)_Nature based solutions.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772411523000502


The contribution of smallholder farming systems to the National greenhouse gas (GHG) budget is missing in most developing countries, including Kenya. Data on the contribution of smallholder cropping systems to the GHG balance is essential for realising Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action, i.e., on nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and in compliance with the Paris Agreement. Do smallholder farming systems act as nature-based solutions for greenhouse gas emissions reduction? This study evaluated GHG emissions from cropping systems under on-farm smallholder farming conditions. We had five cropping systems on two smallholder farms: sole maize, maize-bean intercrop, coffee, banana, and agroforestry. Gas samples were collected using three static chambers per cropping system. The gas samples were analysed using gas chromatography (GC) fitted with a 63Ni-electron capture detector (ECD) for N2O and flame ionisation detector (FID) for CH4 and CO2 using N as carrier gas. Cumulative annual fluxes of (CH4, N2O, and CO2) varied significantly in farms one and two across the cropping systems. The cumulative soil GHG fluxes ranged from -1.34kg CH4single bondC ha−1 yr−1 under agroforestry to -0.77kg CH4single bondC ha−1 yr−1 under banana for CH4, 0.30kg N2Osingle bondN ha−1 yr−1 to 1.23kg N2Osingle bondN ha−1 yr−1 for N2O and 5949kg CO2single bondC ha−1 yr−1 to 12,954kg CO2single bondC ha−1 yr−1 for CO2. The maize grain yields ranged from 0 to 3.38 Mg ha−1. The N2O yields scaled emissions ranged from 0.10 to 0.26g kg−1 maize and 0.68 to 1.30g kg−1 beans. Smallholder farmers in Upper Eastern Kenya contribute a limited amount of soil GHG emissions and thus could act as a nature-based solution for lowering agricultural emissions.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Smallholder farms, Cropping systems, Yield-scaled emissions
Agrovoc keywords:
carbon dioxide
nitrous oxide
cropping systems
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Regions > Africa
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Climate
Deposited By: Unternährer, Anouk
ID Code:52022
Deposited On:07 Dec 2023 13:32
Last Modified:07 Dec 2023 13:32
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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