Strategies for circular agriculture to reduce GHG emissions within and between farming systems across an agro-ecological gradient


Over the past decades, European farms have trended towards specialisation and high per ha yields but have become increasingly dependent on external inputs to compensate for declining recycling of nutrients. Meanwhile, farms in sub Saharan Africa less specialized, have low inputs and yields and much higher vulnerability to climate change compared with European farms. More efficient (re)cycling of resources ( water, energy and land) across the agri-food sector and enhanced resilience is imperative to deliver food security whilst respecting ecological boundaries and rural livelihoods. In Europe, recoupling (direct and/or remote) of livestock and crop systems could play an important role in more efficient (re)cycling of resources across livestock and crops, and food value chains. In Africa, integrating sustainability and resilience objectives with enhanced food security could avoid some of the trade-offs currently experienced in Europe (eg high GHG emissions and N pollution).


CircAgric-GHG will draw upon state of the art knowledge, research methods and models to assess how circularpractices can deliver sustainable food systems Using farm typologies as a baseline, the extent of existing circularpractice implementation will be evaluated Promising practices to enhance circularity will be proposed acrosstypologies and agro-ecological zones. High-resolution modelling of resource cycling and GHG emissions at farmand landscape level will be undertaken using process and farm models, with remote sensing of particularlyuncertain land-use emission fluxes using novel satellite and drone technology. LCA will be applied to integratemodelling outputs into environmental footprints of food production, developing a novel framework for futureprojects Farm scale modelling will also inform a marginal abatement cost curve and a decision support tool,enabling robust comparison of GHG abatement efficacy of specific circular practices. Meanwhile, stakeholder dialogue via workshops and focus groups will identify systemic lock-ins and levers pertinentto wide-scale deployment of circular practices, culminating in a Transition Roadmap Scenario analysis will thenintegrate farm-scale abatement with macro resource flow and land-use change consequences of promisingpractises Consequential. LCA will be applied to evaluate the technical potential for circular scenarios to meet 2030Farm to Fork and 2050 climate neutrality targets, with the screening of major ES effects.


Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, NIBIO, Norway

Vibeke Lind


The International Livestock Research Institute, ILRI, KENYA

Basque Centre For Climate Change, BC3, SPAIN

University of Limerick, UL - Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Teagasc, IRELAND

Karlsruhe Institute of technology, KIT, GERMANY

University of Milan, UNIMI, GERMANY

University of Pretoria, UP, SOUTH AFRICA

Bangor University, BU, UNITED KINGDOM

University of Oslo, UO, NORWAY

    Project duration

    1 March 2022 - 28 February 2025