Assessment of Agricultural Farming Systems Sustainability in Hamedan Province Using Ecological Footprint Analysis (Case Study: Irrigated Wheat)
J. Agr. Sci. Tech
Ecological footprint analysis in agriculture is a new and evolving subject. The main purpose of the study was to assess environmental sustainability of conventional and conservation tillage systems using ecological footprint analysis in Hamedan Province. Global hectares (gha) were used to measure the ecological footprint unit. Data was collected through questionnaires and use of cross-sectional multi-stage cluster sampling in 2013-2014 cropping year. Results revealed a significant difference in
... global hectares (gha) between ecological footprints in conventional (2.96) and conservation (2.84) systems. Both cropping systems used agricultural lands more than the ecologically productive land required to offset the environmental impact of different farming activities, and are therefore considered unsustainable. However, conservation systems proved to be more environmentally sustainable. The ecological footprint of fuel factor (gas oil and electricity) in both cropping systems had the highest impact on environmental sustainability: 49.70% and 47.22 percent of global hectares; respectively. Although environmental pollution was reduced slightly by the conservation system, estimated footprint based on gha was worrying. Addressing these challenges requires a national commitment which would not be possible without government intervention.