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CAB eBooks

Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Water productivity in agriculture: limits and opportunities for improvement.

Book cover for Water productivity in agriculture: limits and opportunities for improvement.


This book presents a state of the art review of the limits and opportunities for improving water productivity in crop production, focusing on both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture. It provides concepts, methodologies, constraints and examples drawn from a wealth of experience from developing and developed countries. It demonstrates how efficiency of water use can be enhanced to maximize yields. ...


Chapter 15 (Page no: 239)

Rice-wheat cropping systems in the Indo-Gangetic plains: issues of water productivity in relation to new resource-conserving technologies.

The rice-wheat cropping system is found on 13.5 million ha in south Asia and is one of the most important cropping patterns for food self-security in the region. This system is found in the fertile, hot semi-arid to hot subhumid regions of the Indus and Gangetic alluvial plains of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Irrigation is commonly used to stabilize the productivity of this system, using canal and tube-well water. Area and yield growth have been responsible for continued production growth for these cereals over the past 30 years and have matched the population growth and demand for food. This growth over the past 30 years was based on key inputs, such as variety, fertilizer and irrigation, with most of the investment coming from the public sector. Future growth required to meet population growth will be close to 2.5% year-1 and must come from yield rather than from area growth, since the latter will decline as urbanization and industries spread to prime agricultural land. Competition for water will be a major challenge for agriculture and it is imperative that this scarce resource is used efficiently. This chapter describes various resource-conserving technologies that are being promoted by the rice-wheat consortium (one of seven Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research ecoregional initiatives) to attain the goal of raising productivity in the region and meeting food-security needs while, at the same time, efficiently using natural resources, including water, providing environmental benefits, improving the rural livelihoods of farmers and helping to alleviate poverty. This technology of the post-green revolution will depend on farmer adoption and investment. Increasing and improving stakeholder participation in experimentation and fine-tuning of the technology will be a key to success.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) A water-productivity framework for understanding and action. Author(s): Molden, D. Murray-Rust, H. Sakthivadivel, R. Makin, I.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 19) Economics of water productivity in managing water for agriculture. Author(s): Barker, R. Dawe, D. Inocencio, A.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 37) The concept of efficiency in water-resources management and policy. Author(s): Seckler, D. Molden, D. Sakthivadivel, R.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 53) Rice production in water-scarce environments. Author(s): Tuong, T. P. Bouman, B. A. M.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 69) Managing saline and alkaline water for higher productivity. Author(s): Tyagi, N. K.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 89) Water productivity under saline conditions. Author(s): Kijne, J. W.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 103) Opportunities for increasing water productivity of CGIAR crops through plant breeding and molecular biology. Author(s): Bennett, J.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 127) Management of drought in ICRISAT cereal and legume mandate crops. Author(s): Serraj, R. Bidinger, F. R. Chauhan, Y. S. Seetharama, N. Nigam, S. N. Saxena, N. P.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 145) Water productivity in rain-fed agriculture: challenges and opportunities for smallholder farmers in drought-prone tropical agroecosystems. Author(s): Rockström, J. Barron, J. Fox, P.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 163) World water productivity: current situation and future options. Author(s): Cai, X. M. Rosegrant, M. W.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 179) Improving water productivity in the dry areas of West Asia and North Africa. Author(s): Oweis, T. Y. Hachum, A. Y.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 199) Efficient management of rainwater for increased crop productivity and groundwater recharge in Asia. Author(s): Wani, S. P. Pathak, P. Sreedevi, T. K. Singh, H. P. Singh, P.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 217) Water productivity in forestry and agroforestry. Author(s): Ong, C. K. Swallow, B. M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 229) Water productivity and potato cultivation. Author(s): Bowen, W. T.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 255) Land and water productivity of wheat in the Western Indo-Gangetic plains of India and Pakistan: a comparative analysis. Author(s): Intizar Hussain Sakthivadivel, R. Upali Amarasinghe
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 273) Reform of the Thai irrigation sector: is there scope for increasing water productivity? Author(s): Molle, F.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 289) Upscaling water productivity in irrigated agriculture using remote-sensing and GIS technologies. Author(s): Bastiaanssen, W. Mobin-ud-Din Ahmad Zubair Tahir
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 301) Improving water productivity through deficit irrigation: examples from Syria, the North China Plain and Oregon, USA. Author(s): Zhang HePing