Role of Development Policies in Combating Climate Change Issues in Indian Agriculture: An Assessment of Irrigation and Fertilizer Policies



The Government of India has pursued policies supporting the development of agrarian economy through the promotion of green revolution technologies. A first-order quantitative assessment of the impact of these development policies on mitigation, adaptation, resilience and sustainability has been undertaken with the help of specific performance indicators. The analysis is based on the hypothesis that productivity enhancement is a better means of reducing global warming as it avoids deforestation, thereby reducing intensification of emissions and enhancing food security. The assessment clearly establishes that the policies have been highly successful in reducing potential emission intensification, which has been termed as virtual mitigation. It also establishes that the adaptation capacity in terms of food grain availability improved by 26% during 1990–2010. However, performance in respect of sustainability, particularly development of water resources, is questionable. The projected degree of development, a ratio of primary water supply to potentially useable supply (Degree of development of surface water—DDS) of 0.95 and groundwater abstraction ratio (GWAR) ≥1, were extremely high and posed a threat to climate change management efforts. The subsidy driven imbalanced fertilizer use with imbalance index (FLibI) in the range of 0.04–0.05, though not a very serious threat, has added to the sustainability risk. The relatively new initiative on micro irrigation has fared well in respect of most performance counts and requires further policy support for scaling out.


Virtual mitigation Adaptation Sustainability Irrigation Fertilizers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Formerly, ICAR-Agricultural Scientists Recruitment BoardNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.International Food Policy Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Borlaug Institute for South Asia, CIMMYTNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.University of Minnesota Twin CitiesMinneapolisUSA

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