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Costs of diesel pump irrigation systems in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains: What options exist for efficiency gains?

Tim Foster, Roshan Adhikari, Anton Urfels, Subash Adhikari and Timothy J. Krupnik

No 15, CSISA project notes from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Abstract: Groundwater irrigation plays a critical role in supporting food security, rural livelihoods and economic development in South Asia. Yet, large disparities in groundwater access and use remain across the region. In the Western Indo-Gangetic Plains (WIGP) of India and Pakistan, subsidized rural electrification and fuel for groundwater pumping has enabled significant growth in agricultural productivity over recent decades (Shah 2007). In many areas, groundwater development has however also contributed to over-extraction and aquifer depletion, especially in the WIGP (MacDonald et al. 2016; Mukherjee et el., 2017). In contrast, groundwater resources in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (EIGP) of Nepal and eastern India remain underexploited; current aggregated rates and areas of irrigation also appear to be only a fraction of estimated development potential (Saha et al., 2016). This limits farmers’ ability to grow crops outside the monsoon season, or to manage risks posed by rainfall variability and dry spells within the monsoon – both of which contribute to low productivity and rural poverty.

Keywords: INDIA; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; PAKISTAN; NEPAL; groundwater; irrigation; diesel engines; agricultural productivity; costs; efficiency; land ownership; diesel pump irrigation systems; monsoon season; irrigation costs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
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