International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics (4 papers in press)
Assessing and Mitigating the Impact of Livestock Agriculture on the Environment through Geospatial and Big Data Analysis
by Andreas Kamilaris, Francesc Prenafeta, August B. Blasi, Assumpcio Anton
Abstract: Intensive livestock farming has been linked to excessive pollution and contamination of land, water and air. A common body of knowledge is required in order to under-stand and assess this impact of agriculture, and take proper countermeasures with a focus on the sustainability and the protection of the physical environment, affecting agricultural productivity as little as possible. In this paper, we examine the problem of the environmental impact of livestock agriculture, targeting animal manure, which is a serious problem in various territories of Europe and the United States. Aiming to address this problem, we have developed AgriBigCAT, an online software platform that uses geophysical information from various diverse sources, employing geospatial and big data analysis, together with web technologies, in order to estimate the impact of the livestock agricultural sector on the environment,examining possible pollution of land, water and air, considering various scenarios and potential applications to mitigate the problem. The AgriBigCAT platform can assist both the farmers decision-making processes and the administration planning and policy making, with the ultimate objective of meeting the challenge of increasing food production at a lower environmental impact.
Keywords: policy tool; livestock agriculture; environmental impact;
assessment; geospatial analysis; big data analysis.
Mobile Technology for Smart Agriculture: Deployment Case for Cocoa Production
by Richard Lomotey
Abstract: In order to maximize the quality and quantity of agricultural production, smart farming has become imperative where mobile technologies can be employed to access: real-time information on crop yields and soil-mapping, fertilizer application, weather data, and intelligent assessment. However, in some economies, there is huge gap between agriculture production and the required supporting mobile technology. Thus, the goal of this research is to narrow this gap by proposing a smartphone application that facilitates intelligent real-time access to agronomic information. Specific to cocoa production in Ghana, our proposed research can aid farmers to use their smartphones to 1) access agronomic information on cocoa management, 2) perform self-assessment of cocoa pod infestation, 3) perform stock analysis of their produce, and 4) offers a crowdsourcing forum for the farmers to discuss cocoa-related issues. The work received 96.88% strong satisfaction rating from the evaluated feedback collected from 32 cocoa producers who also said they will recommend it for community usage. Also, 87.50% of the test users find the developed app to be helpful and useful. Furthermore, 100% of the users expressed interest in using the app to better manage cocoa production.
Keywords: Mobile devices; Agriculture; Ontology; Data Transfer; Cocoa production.
Integrated impact assessment of biomass conversion systems with the method of life cycle assessment. A comprehensive review
by Emmanouil Tziolas, Thomas Bournaris, Stefanos Nastis, Basil Manos
Abstract: The formulation of bio-based industries constitutes a major goal for the generation of sustainable forms of energy globally. Nevertheless, the different bio-energy pathways depend on manifold conversion technologies and induce an assortment of environmental impacts. To this extend, the evaluation tool of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is thoroughly analyzed for biomass exploitation systems, since it is acknowledged as the most advantageous methodological framework. Furthermore, specific critical points of LCA are identified through literature review and the four-step modular process is analyzed. Moreover, a classification of forty papers implementing LCA and biomass exploitation is conducted to investigate the direction of the scientific stimulus, as well as the fluctuation of funded projects after the bloom of relevant technological advancements. The majority of the papers assessed a complete biomass exploitation system from cradle to grave, while 65% describe systems in the European region. Finally, the increase of funded projects is prominent the last nine years and the number of researches regarding LCA and biomass is increasing as well.
Keywords: Life cycle assessment; biomass; bio-energy; bio-fuel; sustainable development; energy crops.
Effect of manure utilization preferences on the sustainability of model network of chicken meat and egg producing and consuming businesses
by Mustafa Ozilgen, Alper Erturk
Abstract: A conceptual network of chicken meat and egg producing and consuming businesses is analyzed thermodynamically. The network consisted of a chicken farm a restaurant, a pet food manufacturing plant, a vegetable garden, an olive garden, a grain field and a manure gasifier. Sustainability of the network was assessed in terms of the cumulative degree of performance (CDP) and the cumulative carbon dioxide emission (CCO2). Substitution of the chemical fertilizers with their microbial counterparts and gasification of the manure are the major factors improving sustainability. Five different cases with different resource utilization preferences are assessed. Case 1 is the base line, where manure is not gasified and only chemical fertilizers are used in agriculture. In Case 1, The CDP and CCO2 were 0.66 and 7,500 kgCO2/year, respectively. As chemical fertilizers were replaced by their microbial counter parts and the manure was gasified sustainability improved. In Case 5, only microbial fertilizers are used in agriculture and the manure is gasified. The highest CDP, 1.05, and the lowest CCO2, 2,539 kgCO2/year, are obtained in Case 1, therefore, it is regarded as the most sustainable case, among all of the alternatives assessed.
Keywords: Sustainable network; cumulative degree of perfection; cumulative carbon dioxide emission; poultry industry.