ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Impact of Declining Groundwater Levels on Acreage Allocation in Haryana

This study attempts to examine the impact that a declining groundwater table has on the farmer's crop response function in Haryana. The paper first summarises the most important causes for depletion of groundwater in Punjab and Haryana. It then reports a regional study of Haryana using the Nerlovian supply response function. Supply response is estimated for two water-intensive crops (rice and sugar cane) and two less water-demanding crops (wheat and bajra). The Arellano-Bond Dynamic Panel estimator is used in the study. The regression results confirm the hypothesis that farmers are recognising and responding to declining depths of water tables. Farmers are reducing the acreage devoted to rice and sugar cane, the two most water-intensive crops but not for the less water-intensive crops.

O ver the years there has been overexploitation of groundwater, which has been used to meet the increasing demand for water. This has resulted in declining water table in various parts of the country. It is believed that one of the major causes of the decline in groundwater tables is the introduction of water-intensive crops such as paddy and sugar cane into the cropping pattern in certain regions. Yet, the relationship between groundwater depth and changes in the cropping pattern has not been investigated adequately in the literature so far. Furthermore, there is no analysis of how farmers in turn have adapted their behaviour in terms of decisions relating to acreage allocation in response to the declining water table. It is this gap that this study bridges.

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