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Intensive agricultural practices of rice wheat system in Punjab: Implications on costs and productivity

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Aakanksha Melkani

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Abstract

Indian Journal of Economics and Development
Year : 2014, Volume : 10, Issue : 2
First page : ( 132) Last page : ( 139)
Print ISSN : 2277-5412. Online ISSN : 2322-0430.
Article DOI : 10.5958/j.2322-0430.10.2.041

Intensive agricultural practices of rice wheat system in Punjab: Implications on costs and productivity

Melkani Aakanksha
Research Scholar, Department of Economics and Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141004, Email: aakankshamelkani@gmail.com

JEL Classification: Q15, Q20

Online published on 28 April, 2014.

Abstract
The rice and wheat crops are of major importance in the Indian context. They are staple food grains of India and were instrumental in ensuring food sufficiency of the nation. However, intensive agricultural practices associated with these crops are posing a threat to their viability. These trends are more prominent in the Indo-Gangetic plains of India, where monocultures of rice and wheat are widespread. This paper is an attempt to study these trends in the state of Punjab, one of the states following the most intensive agricultural practices. The study is based on secondary data spanning four decades from 1980 to 2010. It was found that over this time period fertilizer consumption increased 2.5 times, land under irrigation 1.8 times and electricity consumption 2.2 times. Simultaneously, productivity remained relatively stagnant while cost of cultivation rose steeply. These trends indicate towards the unsustainability of the present patterns of production. Recommended conservation techniques to overcome this problem are also documented along with the constraints being faced in their successful implementation.