Methods for Measuring Greenhouse Gas Balances and Evaluating Mitigation Options in Smallholder Agriculture

pp 163-174

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


Yield Estimation of Food and Non-food Crops in Smallholder Production Systems

  • Tek B. SapkotaAffiliated withInternational Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) Email author 
  • , M. L. JatAffiliated withInternational Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)
  • , R. K. JatAffiliated withBorlaug Institute of South AsiaInternational Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)
  • , P. KapoorAffiliated withInternational Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)
  • , Clare StirlingAffiliated withInternational Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)


Enhancing food security while contributing to mitigate climate change and preserving the natural resource base and vital ecosystem services requires the transition to agricultural production systems that are more productive, use inputs more efficiently, are more resilient to climate variability and emit fewer GHGs into the environment. Therefore, quantification of GHGs from agricultural production systems has been the subject of intensive scientific investigation recently to help researchers, development workers, and policy makers to understand how mitigation can be integrated into policy and practice. However, GHG quantification from smallholder production system should also take into account farm productivity to make such research applicable for smallholder farmers. Therefore, estimation of farm productivity should also be an integral consideration when quantifying smallholder mitigation potential. A wide range of methodologies have been developed to estimate crop yields from smallholder production systems. In this chapter, we present the synthesis of the state-of-the-art of crop yield estimation methods along with their advantages and disadvantages. Besides the plot level measurements and sampling, use of crop models and remote sensing are valuable tools for production estimation but detailed parameterization and validation of such tools are necessary before such tools can be used under smallholder production systems. The decision on which method to be used for a particular situation largely depends on the objective, scale of estimation, and desired level of precision. We emphasize that multiple approaches are needed to optimize the resources and also to have precise estimation at different scales.