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Food Production in Indo-Gangetic Plains: To Understand the Role of Water and Hydrology

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Singh Alka, Satarupa Chakravarty, M. Rajeshwor, Nilabja Ghosh *

Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University Enclave, Delhi, India.

*Corresponding author: Nilabja Ghosh


This paper attempts to understand the production dynamics of food crop rice in six states of the Indo-Gangetic Plains in India with data analysis, bringing to-gether both economic and climatic factors and emphasizing water as an input that naturally and strategically links regions. A model is built and estimated, taking care of econometric issues and embedding causality relations that are based on both theory and empirical evidences. The crop, despite being a major staple, competes for land with other food and cash crops in the market and its yield is sensitive to inputs prices. Moving beyond the economic rationality behind decisions, the theorization accounts for spatio-temporal inter-relations of water as suggested by geo-structural information. It is clear from the results that both acreage and yield of rice are deeply related to geography and interventions that determine the quality of water access, but the effect of rainfall is temporally and spatially varied and dispersed. Direction of rivers, existence of dams and reservoirs and quality of water management decide the location, timing and role of rainfall that determines production. While influential locations are hydrologically linked regions that can be proximate or distant, both current rainfall and past rainfall may be important. The rainfall-production relations could be explained by not only known pathways of surface water flows but probably also by integration of ground water below the surface, water allocation among states and sharing of hydroelectric power generated from water stored in common reservoirs. Limited knowledge about nature, inadequate access to information on the extents of aquifers, spatial interconnectedness among weather and paucity of trans-boundary data are limitations to the study but the model itself is dynamic and needs to track the acquisition of knowledge and data, transitions of water management tendencies revealed by climate change and planned linkages of basins.


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How to cite this paper

Food Production in Indo-Gangetic Plains: To Understand the Role of Water and Hydrology

How to cite this paper: Singh Alka, Satarupa Chakravarty, M. Rajeshwor, Nilabja Ghosh. (2020) Food Production in Indo-Gangetic Plains: To Understand the Role of Water and Hydrology. International Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 4(4), 413-426.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/ijfsa.2020.12.008

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