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Researchers Propose Optimized Measures to Promote Sustainable Agricultural Development in Tarim River Basin


Agricultural production faces great challenges in both ensuring food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It not only consumes large amounts of water resources, energies and fertilizers, but also produces carbon emissions.

Water-energy-food nexus aims to maximize the synergies between individual elements. However, there are fewer studies that take into account water-energy-food nexus and carbon emission together.

In a study published in Energy Conversion and Management, a research group led by Prof. CHEN Yaning at the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, constructed a multi-objective optimization framework to ensure crop yield and evaluate carbon reduction potential.

The researchers investigated the agricultural inputs in the Tarim River Basin, compiled the meteorological and relevant social-economic data, and used the method of multi-objective nonlinear optimization to analyze different scenarios for sustainable crop production.

The results showed that increasing the area of low-water-consuming crops in the basin, such as wheat and corn, has the potential to improve crop yield and reduce carbon emissions in an optimal scenario. In addition, they indicated that improvements in irrigation efficiency and mechanization in the basin have a significant impact on carbon reduction and water saving.

"There is still potential for improving crop yields and cutting carbon emissions in the Tarim River Basin, by improving irrigation efficiency, and optimizing resources allocation and cropping pattern,” said FENG Meiqing, first author of the study.

This study provides a reference for crop production management and sustainable agricultural development in river basins.


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LONG Huaping

Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography

E-mail: longhp@ms.xjb.ac.cn

Web: http://english.egi.cas.cn