ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Trends, Turning Points, and Policy Initiatives

Groundwater Irrigation-Electricity-Crop Diversification Nexus in Punjab

The present wheat-rice cropping pattern, groundwater irrigation, procurement policy, and electricity policy have bound farmers in Punjab into a convenient yet vicious relationship that is economically and ecologically unsustainable. The state government provides free electricity for agriculture and a high minimum support price and yet recommends a shift away from rice to curb groundwater depletion. This paper analyses the trends and turning points in irrigation development in the state, its shifts in cropping pattern, and trends in electricity consumption. It further examines the real-world feasibility of the long-pending recommendation to shift the cropping pattern from water-intensive rice and wheat to less water-intensive maize and wheat.

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