Abstract Off-season vegetable cultivation under tunnel structure is a modern technique to fulfill increasing food demand and ensure food security. Due to increasing concern about the environmental protection, this research aims to explore the energy budgeting and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission in the production of cucumber under tunnel farming. Total 70 cucumber growing farmers were personally interviewed through stratified random sampling. The cucumber yield was 315175.41 kg ha−1 (small), 281743.83 kg ha−1 (medium), and 319242.50 kg ha−1 (large), which showed the potential of tunnel farming in Pakistan. This activity is feasible with respect to energy indicators (energy use efficiency>1; energy productivity>1; specific energy 0). However, the GHG emission was 16.90 kg CO2 eq., 18.58 kg CO2 eq., and 19.63 kg CO2 eq. for 1000 kg cucumber production for three farm size groups such as small (0.1–5.0 ha), medium (5-1-12 ha), and large (12+ ha). The GHG emission was more due to diesel fuel followed by fertilizer, machinery, and chemicals. The regression analysis highlighted the positive impact of irrigation water, fertilizer, polyethylene, chemical, and human labor on energy output. Results showed that small farmers used the energy inputs more efficiently. For the protection of the environment, the government should promote renewable energy sources and provide extension services for the optimum use of energy inputs in tunnel farming.

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