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Why recent moves to reduce water in agriculture will have limited impact

The experience of Punjab and Haryana with maize cultivation is a good example of the disconnect between policies and markets

Why recent moves to reduce water in agriculture will have limited impact

Two initiatives by states to save water in agriculture have had mixed results, suggesting gaps in the broader policy architecture of the National Democratic Alliance’s water conservation efforts. One is the diversion of land towards growing maize, and the other is the promotion of drip irrigation in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Both plans are designed to encourage farmers to divert crops from water-intensive crops such as wheat, rice and sugar. “Nearly 89 per cent of our water consumption is for agriculture. We have to address this biggest stakeholder to manage our ...