Potentialities of organic and sustainable rice production in Japan from a life cycle perspective
National Agricultural Research Center, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization,3-1-1 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8666, Japan; e-mail: email@example.com
Many cultivation practices have been improved in order to decrease environmental burdens of paddy rice production in Japan. Therefore, the importance of life cycle assessment (LCA) to assess the environmental impacts of whole production systems particularly that of rice production has increased. However, the applications of LCA to rice production are still limited, although rice is the staple food in Asian countries. In this study, we apply LCA to organic and sustainable (environmentally-friendly) rice production and compare the two systems by using global warming and eutrophication potentials as indicators. Although both of these production systems generally outperform conventional farming, our results indicate that the environmental superiority of organic and sustainable farming depends on the functional unit. Our results imply that organic and sustainable farming have the potential to reduce environmental burdens depending on the functions of farming systems used for the analysis.