News Update on Sustainable Production Research: May – 2019

Indicators of sustainable production: framework and methodology

This paper presents a new tool for promoting business sustainability — indicators of sustainable production. It first introduces the concept of sustainable production as defined by the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell. Indicators of sustainable production are discussed next, including their dimensions and desirable qualities. Based on the Lowell Center Indicator Framework, the authors suggest a new methodology of core and supplemental indicators for raising companies’ awareness and measuring their progress toward sustainable production systems. Twenty-two core indicators are proposed and a detailed guidance for their application is included. An eight-step model provides a context for indicator implementation. The paper concludes with a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology as well as recommendations for testing the indicators. [1]

Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds the best producing oil crops. This paper aims to analyze and promote integration approaches for sustainable microalgal biofuel production to meet the energy and environmental needs of the society. The emphasis is on hydrothermal liquefaction technology for direct conversion of algal biomass to liquid fuel. View Full-Text. [2]

Nitrogen removal techniques in aquaculture for a sustainable production

As the aquaculture industry intensively develops, its environmental impact increases. Discharges from aquaculture deteriorate the receiving environment and the need for fishmeal and fish oil for fish feed production increases. Rotating biological contactors, trickling filters, bead filters and fluidized sand biofilters are conventionally used in intensive aquaculture systems to remove nitrogen from culture water. Besides these conventional water treatment systems, there are other possible modi operandi to recycle aquaculture water and simultaneously produce fish feed. These double-purpose techniques are the periphyton treatment technique, which is applicable to extensive systems, and the proteinaceous bio-flocs technology, which can be used in extensive as well as in intensive systems. In addition to maintenance of good water quality, both techniques provide an inexpensive feed source and a higher efficiency of nutrient conversion of feed. The bio-flocs technology has the advantage over the other techniques that it is relatively inexpensive; this makes it an economically viable approach for sustainable aquaculture. [3]

The role of local adaptation in sustainable production of village chickens

Village chickens are ubiquitous in smallholder farming systems, contributing to household, local and national economies under diverse environmental, economic and cultural settings. However, they are raised in challenging environments where productivity is low while mortality is high. There is much interest in utilizing indigenous genetic resources to produce a chicken that is resilient to its environment, while at the same time providing the basis of an economically sustainable enterprise. Globally, however, a wide variety of interventions have so far proved unable to deliver sustainable improvements. Here we show that regional differences in trait preferences and parasite burden are associated with distinct chicken gene pools, probably in response to interactions between natural and human-driven (economic and social) selection pressures. Drivers of regional differences include marketing opportunities, cultural preferences, agro-ecologies and parasite populations, and are evident in system adaptations, such as management practices, population dynamics and bird genotypes. Our results provide sound multidisciplinary evidence to support previous observations that sustainable poultry development interventions for smallholder farmers, including breeding programmes, should be locally tailored and designed for flexible implementation. [4]

Integrated Farming System -An Approach towards Livelihood Security, Resource Conservation and Sustainable Production for Small and Marginal Farmers

Per capita land holding has been reducing day by day due to fragmentation of land and farmers concentrate mainly on cropping systems approach rather than farming system approach.  Integrated farming system (IFS) is considered as one of the best option towards farming system approach through intensification of small holder farm income to ensure livelihood security. This is an Experiment on Integrated farming system. As the IFS is an integration of all the crop components and subsidiary enterprises. The Integrated Farming System model was established and renamed as All India Co-ordinated Research Project, Main Centre for Cropping Systems Research to Integrated Farming System at Agriculture and Horticultural Research Station, Kathalagere, Karnataka during 2011-12 for 1 ha area under Indian Institute of Farming System Research (IIFSR), Modipuram, Meerut. Farming system approach includes cropping systems and subsidiary enterprises (Dairy, Sheep etc.,). Accordingly, the land was demarcated components wise on per cent basis out of 1.0 ha. Growing cropping systems like paddy-paddy /paddy-finger millet/paddy-pulse with 50 per cent area in order to meet the family food requirement and in addition to get better profit out of these produce. The results after 5th year of establishment of integrated farming system indicated that total production from cropping system was (16.04 t/ha /year of rice equivalent yield), Horticulture components (11.80 t/ha /year of rice equivalent yield), dairy (1.75 t/ha /year of rice equivalent yield), sheep unit (0.10 t/ha /year of rice equivalent yield) and vermicompost unit (1.88 t/ha /year of rice equivalent yield). Similarly, the net returns from various components viz., crops (Rs.80, 795), Horticulture (Rs.38, 526), Dairy (Rs.4, 7278) and sheep unit (Rs.17, 876). The total quantity of produce recycled was (26,316 kg/l/nos) worth of Rs.43, 846 (three years average) was obtained. Effective recycling of farm waste in terms of vermicompost/compost can save Rs.12634 by addition of 1256 kg of nutrients in-terms of N, P & K. The total annual mandays generated out of various components varied from 515 to 932 mandays. Thus, we can conclude that adoption of integrated farming system improves the profitability and achieve sustainable production by effective recycling of natural resource in addition to meeting family needs. [5]


[1] Veleva, V. and Ellenbecker, M., 2001. Indicators of sustainable production: framework and methodology. Journal of cleaner production, 9(6), pp.519-549. (Web Link)

[2] Patil, V., Tran, K.Q. and Giselrød, H.R., 2008. Towards sustainable production of biofuels from microalgae. International journal of molecular sciences, 9(7), pp.1188-1195. (Web Link)

[3] Crab, R., Avnimelech, Y., Defoirdt, T., Bossier, P. and Verstraete, W., 2007. Nitrogen removal techniques in aquaculture for a sustainable production. Aquaculture, 270(1-4), pp.1-14. (Web Link)

[4] The role of local adaptation in sustainable production of village chickens

Judy M. Bettridge, Androniki Psifidi, Zelalem G. Terfa, Takele T. Desta, Maria Lozano-Jaramillo, Tadelle Dessie, Pete Kaiser, Paul Wigley, Olivier Hanotte & Robert M. Christley

Nature Sustainabilityvolume 1, pages574–582 (2018) (Web Link)

[5] Kumara, O., Sannathimmappa, H. G., Basavarajappa, D. N., Danaraddi, V., Pasha, A. and Rajani, S. R. (2017) “Integrated Farming System -An Approach towards Livelihood Security, Resource Conservation and Sustainable Production for Small and Marginal Farmers”, International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, 15(3), pp. 1-9. doi: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/31994. (Web Link)


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