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Water for a food-secure world Water Resources as an Engine of Agricultural Growth in India Bharat Sharma International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

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Presentation on theme: "Water for a food-secure world Water Resources as an Engine of Agricultural Growth in India Bharat Sharma International Water Management Institute (IWMI)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Water for a food-secure world Water Resources as an Engine of Agricultural Growth in India Bharat Sharma International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 9 th Knowledge Millennium Summit 2011: Agricultural Innovations and Marketing Hotel ITC Maurya, November 8-9, 2011; New Delhi, India

2 Water for a food-secure world The Fact of the Matter is: Agriculture Sector generating less than 20 per cent of national GDP but still supporting 60 percent of its population, about half of which is rural poor, needs urgent and innovative strategies. Poverty in India continues to be a rural phenomenon- smallholders and wage- earners in particular- and can be addressed mainly through accelerated growth 8% ) of Indian agriculture. It is impossible to have Good Agriculture with Bad or No Access and Control of the Water Resources at all levels : Field- Farm-Command- Region- State- Nation- It is impossible to have Good Agriculture with Bad or No Access and Control of the Water Resources at all levels : Field- Farm-Command- Region- State- Nation-

3 Water for a food-secure world It makes sound corporate and business sense in improving, innovating and investing in agriculture and the water resources in India. What are the Challenges ? Where are the Opportunities ? BUT ?

4 Water for a food-secure world

5 5 Indian Food Security: Imminent Challenges?? 1. Indian Food Security is Precariously Hinged on Very High Productivity from Relatively Small and Water Stressed Regions. Vast Areas have Low Land and Water Productivity. 2. Groundwater is Now the Dominant Means of Indian Irrigation- But is Presently Ungoverned, Under-financed, Challenged by Energy-Irrigation Nexus and under Severe Stress. 3. Rainfed Agriculture has an Extremely Low, Variable and Vulnerable Productivity and Cries for an Immediate Small-Water-Based Turn-Around. 4. Climate Change may have Serious Impact on Water Resources, Water Related Hazards and thus on both Rainfed and Irrigated Agriculture Productivity.

6 Much diversification is Occurring outside command areas (IFPRI). Much diversification requires small dozes of year-round, on-demand Irrigation. Value added farming will expand with waste-water irrigation and groundwater. Presently, the three groups have very comparable values. Our planning is preoccupied with food grains; Indian farmer is diversifying in a hurry.

7 Indias Water Futures Scenarios Additional Water Demand: Industry and Domestic Sectors shall be major players (large business opportunities)

8 Rs crores spent since 1991, but no additional benefits. There has been no addition to Canal Irrigated areas for 14 years Source: 1. CWC annual year books, various years. 2. Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural statistics, various years 3. Website of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India,

9 National Water Grid: 30 links for 36 rivers 3000 reservoirs km of link canals 178 km 3 of water/year; 35 m ha of irrigation 35 GW of hydropower Completion-2050 Damage? US $ prices National River Linking Project of India

10 India will need to invest Rs 5-10 trillion in water infrastructure by Does food grain Security justify NRLP? Urban Demand? Diversified, Value-added Agriculture? GW depletion? All things Considered, Can NRLP be the best Response to Livelihoods? employment Industrial growth Power Environment

11 Diggies can mitigate unreliability at the farm level !!!! What is a Diggi? A small intermediate water storage structure Located in a corner of the land holdings in canal command areas in Indira Gandhi Nehar Pariyojana (IGNP) project Average size: –Area = 902 m 2 ( 0.09 ha). –Size = 3,160 m 3

12 Rice productivity (kg/m 3 ) MeanAVGSDVMinMax Rice Water Productivity in the Indus-Gangetic Basin Where do we grow our most food ?

13 Irrigation water demand4.45 m ha m Surface water availability1.43 m ha m Groundwater availability (net draft)1.61 m ha m Total irrigation water availability3.04 m ha m Irrigation water deficit(-) 1.41 m ha m Water Demand, Availability and Deficit in Punjab, India

14 Indias Groundwater Juggernaut is still Accelerating!! Post Livelihood- supporting GwSEs have high population pressure on land, large agricultural population, semi- arid monsoon climate. India is a typical case. One in four farming households in India owns an irrigation well; and the rest use purchased pump irrigation. 10% of Indias GDP, 70% of its irrigated areas, 70-80% of its rural population, 60-70% of its farm output and incomes are linked to groundwater. Tube well density follows population density Pre

15 Water for a food-secure world 1.4 Objectives Water footprints (Consumptive water use) Rice: 1,380 m 3 /ton Wheat: 554 m 3 /ton Milk- 940 m 3 /ton Contribution from external water footprints to milk production is 37%

16 Water for a food-secure world 1.4 Objectives How to reduce groundwater footprints Reduce rice production and intensify milk production, because Milk- wheat has the best returns in terms of water use Milk only has the best returns in terms land use

17 Electricity Network Before Electricity Network After Rural Gujarat Rewired under Jyotirgram Yojana (JGY)

18 Jyotirgram Schemes impact on farm power subsidies Power supply to agriculture fell from 13 b units in 2000/1 to 9 b units in 2005/6 Groundwater draft fell by 20-30%

19 So…what might work in governing Indias Colossal Gw Anarchy…? Banning private wells is futile; crowd them out by improving public water supply Regulating final users is impossible; facilitate mediating agencies to emerge, and regulate them. Pricing agricultural groundwater use is infeasible; instead, use energy pricing and supply to manage agricultural groundwater draft. No alternative to improved supply side management: better rain-water capture and recharge, imported surface water in lieu of groundwater pumping. Grow the economy, take pressure off land, formalize the water sector.

20 Water for a food-secure world Water Availability, Cost of Water Population Poverty Resource Use Holding Size Energy Productivity The Eastern Syndrome: Conundrum of Hydrology & Socio-Ecology

21 Over 90% of Indias electric pumps are In western and peninsular India; here, an invidious nexus between energy subsidies and gw over-draft Is the major challenge IWMI research Is contributing To some way out

22 Water for a food-secure world Irrigation economy – diesel driven ~higher costs; reduced returns 53% of villages electrified; 84% all-India Diesel/kerosene drives irrigation Almost 97% of the farmers use diesel pump for irrigation (WB 2007) Vibrant water markets: – IWMI survey in 4 districts shows almost 70% buy water – Rentals go as high as Rs 70/hour – Farmers heavily economize on irrigation – Diesel subsidy has limited impact Prices are low; public procurement only 10% for rice

23 23 Irrigation cost relative to rice and wheat prices Most location-partners have noted that many marginal farmers and Share croppers are moving out of irrigation farming.. But there are many who can not and are coping with the energy squeeze..

24 Ideas to relieve stress on small-holder irrigation in IGB Diesel efficient pumps; promote Chinese/ small pumps Pumps in the hands of the poor Subsidized diesel-as for fisher-folk in Gujarat? Kerosene ration for farmers? As in Kerala. Give small farmers LPG ration? Treadle pump? Return to gravity flow irrigation? Political strategy: Increase power supply. Increase the supply of electric connections and do a Jyotirgram Target electric tubewell connections to the poor Co-operative electric tubewells? Promote professional sellers of pump irrigation service.

25 Water for a food-secure world PARADIGM SHIFT We have been trying to convert East to the Grain and Capital Intensive Model of Northwest: It is not working and is less likely to Work!! The more suitable model appears to convert EAST to Natural Resource, People, Diversification, High Value and Micro- holding based model of the SOUTHEAST: Time is now ripe to give it a chance!!!

26 Water for a food-secure world 1.4 Objectives Yield gap in Rainfed dominated districts

27 Multiple Water-Use Systems for the Upper Catchments Improving crop and water productivity and livelihoods in the mid- Himalayas

28 Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Need for Adaptations for Agriculture

29 Water for a food-secure world From pixels….to information….to simple action messages For each field: weekly predictions: Smart Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Weather and Water Information and Advice to Smallholders

30 Water for a food-secure world From pixels….to information….to simple action messages

31 Water for a food-secure world Humankind in the 21 st century will need to bring about a Blue Revolution to complement the Asian Green Revolution of the 20 th century… New science and technology must lead the way. - Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Laureate Thank You for being a wonderful audience!! Bharat Sharma, IWMI-New Delhi


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