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Resource scarcity gradients in the post-Green Revolution Indo-Gangetic Plains: Implications for agricultural technology use and supply


  • Erenstein, Olaf


The Green Revolution converted the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) into South Asia’s cereal basket. The recent slow down in cereal productivity growth and continuing poverty in the IGP pose a major challenge to agricultural research and development. To address this challenge it merits revisiting the resource scarcities that farmers actually face across the vast IGP. The paper uses a rapid primary data collection effort through village surveys in 12 clusters along an agro-ecological gradient in the Indian IGP to complement secondary data. The results show marked gradients in factor ratios and factor prices in the Indian IGP. Labor:land factor ratios and price ratios alone can thereby be misleading as they fail to capture the increasingly important role of capital in the post-Green Revolution setting. Relative to other IGP regions, the Green Revolution heartland is relatively capital abundant, explaining the advent of both land saving and labor saving technologies in the North-Western IGP. Further downstream the densely populated Eastern IGP is particularly capital scarce. Agricultural innovations emerging from either area are unlikely to be directly adequate for the other, calling for more investment in adaptive agricultural research to develop innovations in line with the prevailing resource scarcities.

Suggested Citation

  • Erenstein, Olaf, 2009. "Resource scarcity gradients in the post-Green Revolution Indo-Gangetic Plains: Implications for agricultural technology use and supply," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51569, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:51569
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.51569

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erenstein, Olaf, 2006. "Intensification or extensification? Factors affecting technology use in peri-urban lowlands along an agro-ecological gradient in West Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 132-158, October.
    2. Henk A. J. Moll, 2005. "Costs and benefits of livestock systems and the role of market and nonmarket relationships," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(2), pages 181-193, March.
    3. Erenstein, Olaf & Malik, R.K. & Singh, Sher, 2007. "Adoption and Impacts of Zero-Tillage in the Rice-Wheat Zone of Irrigated Haryana, India," Impact Studies 56092, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
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