Impacts of laser land leveling in rice–wheat systems of the north–western indo-gangetic plains of India
- 415 Downloads
We assessed the impact of laser land leveling technology in rice-wheat (RW) systems of north-west India using data collected from household surveys in 2011. We compared crop yield and total irrigation time required per season between laser leveled (LLL) and traditionally leveled (TLL) fields. Laser leveling in rice fields reduced irrigation time by 47–69 h/ha/season and improved yield by approximately 7 % compared with traditionally leveled fields. In wheat, irrigation time was reduced by 10–12 h/ha/season and yield increased by 7–9 % in laser leveled fields. Our analysis showed that laser land leveling is a scale neutral technology, not biased towards large farmers. Farmers benefited by an additional USD 143.5/ha/year through increased yields in RW systems and reduced electricity used in laser leveled fields compared to traditionally leveled fields when estimated by using the electricity tariff equivalent to the average subsidized tariff for agricultural use. This benefit became much larger when estimated by using an electricity tariff equivalent to the average cost of its supply. Hence, assuming an average electricity tariff equivalent to the average cost of its supply in the year 2010–11 in the country, the net benefit of shifting from TLL to LLL in RW systems in the study area was USD 194 per ha per year. This large difference in benefits indicates the loss due to market distortions by subsidy in electricity and hence, is a matter of policy concern requiring further scrutiny. The RW system in a hectare of laser leveled field required 754 kWh less electricity for irrigation per year compared to a traditionally leveled field. Furthermore, if 50 % of the area under the RW system in Haryana and Punjab states were laser leveled, this would provide an additional production of 699 million kg of rice and 987 million kg of wheat, amounting to USD 385 million/year. Thus, laser leveling contributes to food security and economical use of water and energy resources.
KeywordsLaser land leveling Traditional land leveling Yield Rice-wheat system Irrigation
The laser land leveling work in India was initiated through joint efforts of the Rice–Wheat Consortium (RWC) for the Indo-Gangetic Plains, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and was out-scaled by the National Agricultural Research System (NARS), private sector partners, manufacturers and service providers through the policy support of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Government of India and the State Governments of the respective states. We sincerely acknowledge the support of Dalip Bishnoi from Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU) at Hisar in Haryana, field staffs of CIMMYT and farmers of Haryana and Punjab for helping in data collection for this study. Thanks also go to Dennis Wichelns, Menale Kassie, Joel Michalski, Christian Boeber and Sofina Maharjan for their valuable comments on previous versions of this article. We acknowledge the support from Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA)-Phase I, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The support of Consultative Group in International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Programs (CRPs) on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and Wheat (CRP 3.1) for analysis, synthesis and documentation of this study is thankfully acknowledged. Finally we thank two anonymous reviewers and the editors of this journal for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve this paper.
- Amarasinghe, U. A., Shah, T., & Anand, B. K. (2007). India’s Water future to 2025–2050: Business-as-usual scenario and deviations. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute, IWMI Research Report 123.Google Scholar
- Aryal, J. P., Farnworth, C. R., Khurana, R., Ray, S., & Sapkota, T. B. (2014). Gender dimensions of climate change adaptation through climate smart agricultural practices in India. In Innovation in Indian Agriculture: Ways Forward. New Delhi: Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), New Delhi, and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington DC.Google Scholar
- Brown, M. E., & Funk, C. C. (2008). Food security under climate change. Science, 319(5863), 580–581.Google Scholar
- DHBVN. (2014). Distribution & retail supply tariff approved by the Comission for the FY 2014-15. India: Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), Haryana.Google Scholar
- Gill, G. J. (2014). An assessment of the impact of laser-assisted precision land levelling technology as a component of climate-smart agriculture in the state of Haryana, India. New Delhi: CIMMYT-CCAFS, Internantional Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).Google Scholar
- GOI (2011). Annual report 2011-12 on the working of state power utilities & electricity departments. New Delhi: Power and Energy Division, Planning Commission, Government of India (GOI).Google Scholar
- GOI. (2013). State of indian agriculture 2012-13. New Delhi: Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India (GOI).Google Scholar
- HERC. (2014). Commission’s order on aggregate revenue requirement of UHBVNL & DHBVNL for their distribution & retail supply business under MYT framework for the control period FY2014-15 to FY 2016-17 and distribution and retail supply tariff for FY 2014-15. India: Haryana Electricity Regulatory Comission (HERC), Haryana.Google Scholar
- Hijioka, Y., Lin, E., Pereira, J. J., Corlett, R. T., Cui, X., Insarov, G. E., & Surjan, A. (2014). Asia. In V. R. Barros, C. B. Field, D. J. Dokken, M. D. Mastrandrea, K. J. Mach, T. E. Bilir, & L. L. White (Eds.), Climate change 2014: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part B: Regional aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 1327–1370). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- INCCA. (2010). India: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2007; . New Delhi: Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.Google Scholar
- Jat, M.L. (2012). Laser Land Leveling in India: A Success. In Presentation given at a conference on “Lessons Learned from Postharvest and Mechanization Projects, and Ways Forward.” Asian Development Bank’s Postharvest Projects' Post-production Workgroup of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC), held at the International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Manila, Philippines, May 22-24.Google Scholar
- Jat, M. L., Chandna, P., Gupta, R., Sharma, S. K., & Gill, M. A. (2006). Laser land leveling: A precursor technology for resource conservation. New Delhi: Rice-Wheat Consortium for the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Rice-Wheat Consortium Technical Bulletin Series 7.Google Scholar
- Jat, M. L., Gathala, M. K., Ladha, J. K., Saharawat, Y. S., Jat, A. S., Kumar, V., & Gupta, R. (2009). Evaluation of precision land leveling and double zero-till systems in the rice–wheat rotation: Water use, productivity, profitability and soil physical properties. Soil and Tillage Research, 105(1), 112–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Joshi, P., & Tyagi, N. (1994). Salt-affected and waterlogged soils in India: a review. In M. Svendsen & A. Gulati (Eds.), Strategic change in Indian irrigation (pp. 237–252). New Delhi: IFPRI/ICAR.Google Scholar
- Kahlown, M. A., Raoof, A., & Hanif, M. (2000). Rice yield as affected by plant densities. Mona Experimental Project Bhalwal, Report No. 238.Google Scholar
- Krishna, V., Bhatia, M., & Teufel, N. (2011). Characterizing the Cereal Systems and Identifying the Potential of Conservation Agriculture in NW India, Nepal Terai and NW Bangladesh: Baseline Village Survey Report. CIMMYT, India.Google Scholar
- Kulkarni, H., Shankar, P. S. V., & Krishnan, S. (2011). India’s Groundwater Challenge and the Way Forward. Economic and Political Weekly, 46(02), 37–45.Google Scholar
- Kumar, V., Kumar, D., & Kumar, P. (2007). Declining water table scenario in Haryana-A review. Water and Energy International, 64(2), 32–34.Google Scholar
- Mas-Colell, A., Whinston, M. D., & Green, J. R. (1995). Microeconomic theory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Perveen, S., Krishnamurthy, C. K., Sidhu, R. S., Vatta, K., Kaur, B., Modi, V., & Lall, U. (2012). Restoring Groundwater in Punjab, India’s Breadbasket: Finding Agricultural Solutions for Water Sustainability. New York: Columbia Water Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University.Google Scholar
- PSERC. (2011). Tariff rates 2010-11. India: Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Comission (PSERC), Punjab.Google Scholar
- Rickman, J. F. (2002). Manual for laser land leveling (p. 24). Rice-Wheat Consortium Technical Bulletin Series 5. New Delhi: Rice-Wheat Consortium for the Indo-Gangetic Plains.Google Scholar
- Sivakumar, M. V. K., & Stefanski, R. (2011). Climate Change in South Asia. In R. Lal, M. V. K. Sivakumar, S. M. A. Faiz, A. H. M. M. Rahman, & K. R. Islam (Eds.), Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia (pp. 13–28). Jaipur: Springer Science + Business Media B.V.Google Scholar
- UN-Water. (2013). Water for Food. http://www.unwater.org/fileadmin/user_upload/watercooperation2013/doc/Factsheets/water_for_food.pdf. Accessed 15 Aug 2013.
- World Bank. (2013). Data.http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ER.H2O.FWAG.ZS. Accessed 15 Aug 2013.