IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Impact of Zero Tillage in India's Rice-Wheat Systems


  • Laxmi, Vijay
  • Erenstein, Olaf
  • Gupta, Raj K.


To date, the most widely adopted resource conserving technology (RCT) in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP)has been zero-tillage (ZT) for wheat after rice, particularly in India. This report reviews and synthesizes the experience with zero tillage in the Indian IGP. Zero tillage of wheat after rice generates significant benefits at the farm level, both in terms of significant yield gains (6–10%, particularly due to timelier planting of wheat) and cost savings (5–10%, particularly tillage savings). These benefits explain the widespread interest of farmers and the rapidity of the diffusion across the Indian IGP, further aided by the wide applicability of this mechanical innovation. The study subsequently reports on the findings of village-level focus-group discussions in Punjab, Haryana and Eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP). These typically corroborate the findings reported in the reviewed literature. They also highlight the significant extent and speed of ZT adoption in each village as well as the attendant substantial cost savings and yield increases. A conservative ex-ante assessment of supply-shift gains alone (excluding other social and environmental gains), shows that the investment in zero tillage/reduced tillage (ZT/RT) research and development by the Rice-Wheat Consortium of the Indo-Gangetic Plains (RWC) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico (CIMMYT) was highly beneficial with a benefit-cost ratio of 39, a net present value (NPV) of US$ 94 million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 57%. The study highlights the potential gains from successful technology transfer and adaptation in natural resources management (NRM).

Suggested Citation

  • Laxmi, Vijay & Erenstein, Olaf & Gupta, Raj K., 2007. "Impact of Zero Tillage in India's Rice-Wheat Systems," Impact Studies 56093, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cimmis:56093
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.56093

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ekboir, Javier, 2002. "Developing No-Till Packages for Small-Scale Farmers," Facts and Trends/Overview and Outlook 298005, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    2. Vincent, David P. & Quirke, Derek, 2002. "Controlling Phalaris Minor in the Indian Rice-Wheat Belt," Impact Assessment Series (IAS) 47696, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
    3. Anderson, Jock R. & Dillon, John L., 1989. "International agricultural research systems," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 3(4), pages 257-260, December.
    4. The World Bank,, 2005. "India: Re-Energizing the Agricultural Sector to Sustain Growth and Reduce Poverty," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195674323.
    5. Praduman kumar & Anjani kumar & Surabhi Mittal, 2004. "Total Factor Productivity of Crop Sector in the Indo-Gangetic Plain of India: Sustainability issues revisited," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 169-201, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Veettil, Prakashan C., 2014. "Productivity and efficiency impacts of conservation tillage in northwest Indo-Gangetic Plains," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 126-138.
    2. Khan, Md. Tajuddin & Kishore, Avinash & Pandey, Divya & Joshi, Pramod Kumar, 2016. "Using zero tillage to ameliorate yield losses from weather shocks: Evidence from panel data in Haryana, India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1562, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Vijesh Krishna & Prakashan Veettil, 2015. "Productivity and Efficiency Impacts of Zero Tillage Wheat in Northwest Indo-Gangetic Plains," Working Papers id:7716, eSocialSciences.
    4. Pal, Suresh, 2011. "Impacts of CGIAR Crop Improvement and Natural Resource Management Research: A Review of Evidence," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 24(2), December.
    5. Tripathi, R.S. & Raju, R. & Thimmappa, K., 2013. "Impact of Zero Tillage on Economics of Wheat Production in Haryana," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 26(1), June.
    6. Erenstein, Olaf & Thorpe, William, 2011. "Livelihoods and agro-ecological gradients: A meso-level analysis in the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 42-53, January.
    7. Ladha, J.K. & Yadvinder-Singh & Erenstein, O. & Hardy, B. (ed.), 2009. "Integrated Crop and Resource Management in the Rice-Wheat System of South Asia," IRRI Books, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), number 164458, December.
    8. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Mehrotra, Meera Bhatia & Teufel, Nils & Bishnoi, Dalip Kumar, 2012. "Characterizing the Cereal Systems and Identifying the Potential of Conservation Agriculture in South Asia," Socioeconomics Program Working Papers 147109, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.

    More about this item


    Crop Production/Industries;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:cimmis:56093. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.