Nitrogen allocation and recycling in peri-urban mixed crop–livestock farms in Ethiopia

Solomon Tulu Tadesse*, Oene Oenema, Christy van Beek, Fikre Lemessa Ocho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mixed crop–livestock (MC–LS) farms are assumed to be more environmental friendly than specialized livestock systems, due to their better options for internal nutrient recycling. However, there are large differences among MC–LS farms in nutrient allocation and recycling. Here, we posit that the relative allocation of nitrogen to crop and livestock compartments, expressed as crop–livestock ratio (CLS), determines the performance of MC–LS farms. Among 300 urban and peri-urban farms studied in 2014, 42 MC–LS farms (Addis Ababa: 20; Jimma: 22) were re-interviewed in 2016, using MonQIt (monitoring tool) questionnaire. The performances of these farms were evaluated using partial nitrogen balance (PNB), N use efficiency (NUE), N recycling index and net farm income (NFI). CLS was negatively related to N input, PNB and NFI. Livestock oriented MC–LS farms had 4–5 times higher N input and 7 times higher PNB than crop oriented MC–LS farms, because they had 2–4 times higher NFI and purchased more external N input. This indicated that N allocation has significant environmental and economic implications. Sensitivity analyses suggested that NUE at farm system level can be improved by 20–25% and N recycling (NR) by 10–20% over the current condition. In conclusion, MC–LS farms are diverse, and much of the diversity can be captured by the CLS indicator. NUE and NR of peri-urban MC–LS farms in Ethiopia can be significantly improved through NUE enhancing measures: targeted exchange of crop residues and manure between crop and livestock activities within and between farms and improving animal NUE through breeding and precision feeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-294
Number of pages14
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Volume115
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Fingerprint

Ethiopia
recycling
farm
farms
nitrogen
net farm income
livestock
nitrogen balance
allocation
income
crops
crop
nutrients
crop residues
nutrient
animal manures
crop residue
questionnaires
manure
economics

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • Crop–livestock ratio (CLS)
  • Food security
  • NUE
  • Smallholder

Cite this

Tadesse, Solomon Tulu ; Oenema, Oene ; van Beek, Christy ; Ocho, Fikre Lemessa. / Nitrogen allocation and recycling in peri-urban mixed crop–livestock farms in Ethiopia. In: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems. 2019 ; Vol. 115, No. 2. pp. 281-294.
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title = "Nitrogen allocation and recycling in peri-urban mixed crop–livestock farms in Ethiopia",
abstract = "Mixed crop–livestock (MC–LS) farms are assumed to be more environmental friendly than specialized livestock systems, due to their better options for internal nutrient recycling. However, there are large differences among MC–LS farms in nutrient allocation and recycling. Here, we posit that the relative allocation of nitrogen to crop and livestock compartments, expressed as crop–livestock ratio (CLS), determines the performance of MC–LS farms. Among 300 urban and peri-urban farms studied in 2014, 42 MC–LS farms (Addis Ababa: 20; Jimma: 22) were re-interviewed in 2016, using MonQIt (monitoring tool) questionnaire. The performances of these farms were evaluated using partial nitrogen balance (PNB), N use efficiency (NUE), N recycling index and net farm income (NFI). CLS was negatively related to N input, PNB and NFI. Livestock oriented MC–LS farms had 4–5 times higher N input and 7 times higher PNB than crop oriented MC–LS farms, because they had 2–4 times higher NFI and purchased more external N input. This indicated that N allocation has significant environmental and economic implications. Sensitivity analyses suggested that NUE at farm system level can be improved by 20–25{\%} and N recycling (NR) by 10–20{\%} over the current condition. In conclusion, MC–LS farms are diverse, and much of the diversity can be captured by the CLS indicator. NUE and NR of peri-urban MC–LS farms in Ethiopia can be significantly improved through NUE enhancing measures: targeted exchange of crop residues and manure between crop and livestock activities within and between farms and improving animal NUE through breeding and precision feeding.",
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Nitrogen allocation and recycling in peri-urban mixed crop–livestock farms in Ethiopia. / Tadesse, Solomon Tulu; Oenema, Oene; van Beek, Christy; Ocho, Fikre Lemessa.

In: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 115, No. 2, 11.2019, p. 281-294.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nitrogen allocation and recycling in peri-urban mixed crop–livestock farms in Ethiopia

AU - Tadesse, Solomon Tulu

AU - Oenema, Oene

AU - van Beek, Christy

AU - Ocho, Fikre Lemessa

PY - 2019/11

Y1 - 2019/11

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AB - Mixed crop–livestock (MC–LS) farms are assumed to be more environmental friendly than specialized livestock systems, due to their better options for internal nutrient recycling. However, there are large differences among MC–LS farms in nutrient allocation and recycling. Here, we posit that the relative allocation of nitrogen to crop and livestock compartments, expressed as crop–livestock ratio (CLS), determines the performance of MC–LS farms. Among 300 urban and peri-urban farms studied in 2014, 42 MC–LS farms (Addis Ababa: 20; Jimma: 22) were re-interviewed in 2016, using MonQIt (monitoring tool) questionnaire. The performances of these farms were evaluated using partial nitrogen balance (PNB), N use efficiency (NUE), N recycling index and net farm income (NFI). CLS was negatively related to N input, PNB and NFI. Livestock oriented MC–LS farms had 4–5 times higher N input and 7 times higher PNB than crop oriented MC–LS farms, because they had 2–4 times higher NFI and purchased more external N input. This indicated that N allocation has significant environmental and economic implications. Sensitivity analyses suggested that NUE at farm system level can be improved by 20–25% and N recycling (NR) by 10–20% over the current condition. In conclusion, MC–LS farms are diverse, and much of the diversity can be captured by the CLS indicator. NUE and NR of peri-urban MC–LS farms in Ethiopia can be significantly improved through NUE enhancing measures: targeted exchange of crop residues and manure between crop and livestock activities within and between farms and improving animal NUE through breeding and precision feeding.

KW - Circular economy

KW - Crop–livestock ratio (CLS)

KW - Food security

KW - NUE

KW - Smallholder

U2 - 10.1007/s10705-018-9957-z

DO - 10.1007/s10705-018-9957-z

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JO - Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

JF - Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

SN - 1385-1314

IS - 2

ER -