Resource use and GHG emissions of eight tropical fruit species cultivated in Colombia uri icon

abstract

  • Introduction. The cultivation of high-value fruit species is a profitable agricultural activity in many tropical countries; however, intensive fruit cultivation may depend on high amounts of external inputs. The objective of our study was to quantify and compare the resource use during the cultivation of eight tropical fruit species (Rubus glaucus, Solanum quitoense, Passiflora edulis, Cyphomandra betacea, Physalis peruviana, Ananas comosus, Persea americana and Mangifera indica) commonly cultivated in Colombia. It further aimed to identify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the selected production systems and to highlight the potential to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts. Materials and methods. The analysis was based on data from agricultural databases and applied a life-cycle assessment with energy use and GHG emissions as impact categories. Furthermore, economic indicators were taken into account with the aim of integrating the environmental and economic goals of production systems. Results and discussion. Among the eight fruit species studied, mango (Mangifera indica) was found to have the lowest and tree tomato (Cyphomandra betacea) the highest emission profile. The variability in resource use among growers of the same species was high, indicating the need to improve management abilities at the farm level. Mineral fertilizer production was the highest contributor to GHG emissions. GHG- and energy-efficient management alternatives would have a high potential to reduce the carbon footprint of fruit cultivation.

publication date

  • 2013
  • 2013
  • 2013