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The energy consumption for food production can be categorized as direct and indirect consumption. Direct energy consumption is the amount of energy directly used in agricultural production such as fuel consumption of machinery and electricity for pumps, while indirect consumption is for producing the equipment used in agricultural practices such as fertilizer, herbicide, or machinery (Jackson, 2010). The units for describing the amount of energy used in farm operations (production, formulation, storage, and distribution) vary depending on the type of energy usage, taking such forms as volume (litre), weight (kg), calories (kcal), joules, or electricity (kWh). Most agricultural operations involve energy combustion that produces CO2 or other GHG emissions. Thus, Lal (2004) suggested converting these various units into kg carbon equivalent (CE) to quantify carbon emission as a single unit. Table 5 shows the equivalent energy used in food production, summarized from Canakci et al. (2005) and Jackson (2010). Canakci et al. (2005) estimated the equivalent energy to produce crops and vegetables in the Antalya region in Turkey, while Jackson (2010) summarized the data from Australia. Both studies reported similar equivalent energy amounts, which were subsequently converted to CE units.

Table 5.

Energy and CE at food production (Lal, 2004; Canakci et al., 2005; Jackson, 2010).

Energy inputUnitEnergy equivalent
Carbon equivalent
(MJ/unit)(kWh/unit)(kg CE/unit)
Human power hour 1.96–2.3  – 
Fuel 
 Diesel litre 38.6 10.7 0.94 
 Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) kg fuel 27.0 7.5 0.63 
 Electricity kWh 11.9 3.3 0.00725 
Fertilizer 
 Nitrogen kg 66.1 18.4 1.3 
 Phosphorous kg 12.4 3.4 0.2 
 Potassium kg 11.2 3.1 0.15 
 Lime kg 0.6 0.2 0.16 
Pesticide kg/ha 199.0 55.3 – 
 Fungicide kg/ha 92.0 25.6 3.9 
 Herbicide kg/ha 240.0 66.7 6.3 
 Insecticide kg/ha 200.0 55.6 5.1 
Energy inputUnitEnergy equivalent
Carbon equivalent
(MJ/unit)(kWh/unit)(kg CE/unit)
Human power hour 1.96–2.3  – 
Fuel 
 Diesel litre 38.6 10.7 0.94 
 Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) kg fuel 27.0 7.5 0.63 
 Electricity kWh 11.9 3.3 0.00725 
Fertilizer 
 Nitrogen kg 66.1 18.4 1.3 
 Phosphorous kg 12.4 3.4 0.2 
 Potassium kg 11.2 3.1 0.15 
 Lime kg 0.6 0.2 0.16 
Pesticide kg/ha 199.0 55.3 – 
 Fungicide kg/ha 92.0 25.6 3.9 
 Herbicide kg/ha 240.0 66.7 6.3 
 Insecticide kg/ha 200.0 55.6 5.1 

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