Research Papers

Rubber monoculture: Death knell for agrobiodiversity
A study looks at the subjective well-being of an indigenous community of Tripura amidst the transition from shifting cultivation to monoculture of natural rubber. Posted on 29 Jan, 2020 04:44 PM

People tend to be happier and reinvigorated in green spaces. Agrobiodiversity - the number and abundance of different species in particular systems is known to promote happiness. It ensures the resilience of ecosystem services such as food production, climate regulation, and pest management that in turn underpin human wellbeing.

Tripura had the highest rate of growth of rubber plantation during the first decade of the millennium as compared to any other state (Image: Flickr Commons)
India’s food systems in transition
A recent book looks at solutions to the various obstacles that impede India’s various food sub-systems. Posted on 22 Jan, 2020 11:45 AM

A recent book ‘Transforming Food Systems for a Rising India’ by the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (TCI) at Cornell University provides a detailed assessment of the major paradoxes of the Indian growth story.

Organic food (Image: P L Tandon, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Whose forests, whose rights?
While forest bureaucracy has been trying to undermine reforms in forest governance in India, the need for community level forest governance is more urgent than ever. Posted on 15 Jan, 2020 02:58 PM

India’s forest sector, at crossroads

Mangar Bani, a green patch between Faridabad and Gurgaon (Image: Pradip Krishen, Facebook)
Karnataka farmers cope as wells fail
A study looks at how households adapt to slow-moving environmental changes such as groundwater depletion. Posted on 13 Jan, 2020 07:08 PM

Like in many parts of India, Karnataka’s groundwater is a vital source of irrigation water, but has been depleted by a combination of a prolonged, multi-year drought and intensive extraction. Worsening agro-climatic and environmental conditions are threatening the incomes of smallholder farmers and hampering the continued progress in poverty eradication.

An irrigation well at Randullabad, Maharashtra (Image source: India Water Portal on Flickr; Image used for representational purposes only)
Groundwater variability: The tale of two states
Gujarat shows good groundwater storage while Rajasthan shows severe groundwater depletion, inspite of both states in western India receiving good rainfall. Why is this so? Posted on 12 Jan, 2020 09:28 AM

India, a groundwater stressed country

Groundwater decline in India (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Is zero budget natural farming the way forward?
Zero budget natural farming can lead to huge savings in fertiliser subsidy, says study Posted on 11 Jan, 2020 12:16 PM

A recent study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water offers insights into Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) vis-à-vis its effect on the economics of agriculture in Andhra Pradesh.

Alternative agriculture practice called zero-budget natural farming being popularised in Andhra Pradesh by Rythu Sadhikara Samstha, Government of Andhra Pradesh (Image: Council on Energy, Environment and Water)
Aerosols and droughts: Is there a connection?
A study finds that high levels of aerosols in the atmosphere further worsen the impacts of El Nino on the rainfall leading to increased frequency of droughts in India. Posted on 29 Dec, 2019 04:19 PM

Droughts are becoming common in India

The role of aerosols in triggering droughts (Image Source: IWP flickr photos)
Micro-irrigation and groundwater use
A study from Gujarat finds that micro-irrigation combined with metered power led to a reduction in uncontrolled groundwater extraction by farmers. Posted on 18 Dec, 2019 02:12 PM

Agriculture the largest consumer of groundwater in India

Micro-irrigation and its impact on groundwater (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Trading in virtual water
A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India. Posted on 13 Dec, 2019 09:12 AM

The recent trade war between the United States and China was, among other things, about virtual water - the hidden water in products. Producing anything, whether it is soyabean or clothes, uses water, and has a water footprint.

A farmer uses a hosepipe to irrigate crops at her farm in Nilgiris mountains, Tamil Nadu (Image: Hamish John Appleby for IWMI, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Replacing rice will improve India’s climate resilience
A study calls for solutions that can benefit farmers and the environment and positively impact India's nutrition indicators. Posted on 11 Dec, 2019 11:50 AM

A new study finds that introducing coarse cereals such as millet and sorghum could improve India’s national food supply in many ways.

Rice field in Karnataka (Image: Guldem Ustun, Flickr Commons, CC BY 2.0)
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