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Agricultural Intensification, Irrigation and the Environment in South Asia: Issues and Policy Options


  • Alauddin, Mohammad
  • Quiggin, John


High population pressure and the rapid pace of human activity including urbanization, industrialization and other economic activities have led to a dwindling supply of arable land per capita and a process of agricultural intensification in South Asia. While this process has significantly increased food production to feed the growing population, it has also entailed considerable damage to the physical environment, including degradation and depletion of natural resources and unsustainable use of land and water resources. This paper employs the analytical tools of economic theory, environmental and ecological economics to model the impact of irrigation in South Asia. It underscores the need for an eclectic approach to policy responses stemming from private and common property rights theories, externality theory and sustainability theory with a view to environmentalizing agricultural development.

Suggested Citation

  • Alauddin, Mohammad & Quiggin, John, 2006. "Agricultural Intensification, Irrigation and the Environment in South Asia: Issues and Policy Options," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 149859, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqsers:149859

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mohammad Alauddin & Upali A. Amarasinghe & Bharat R. Sharma, 2014. "Four decades of rice water productivity in Bangladesh: A spatio-temporal analysis of district level panel data," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 51-64.
    2. Ranjan Roy & Ngai Weng Chan & Stefanos Xenarios, 2016. "Sustainability of rice production systems: an empirical evaluation to improve policy," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 257-278, February.
    3. Balasubramanian, R. & Choi, Seung-churl, 2010. "Urbanization, Population Pressure And Agricultural Intensification: Evidences From Tamil Nadu In India," Journal of Rural Development/Nongchon-Gyeongje, Korea Rural Economic Institute, vol. 33(2), July.
    4. repec:eee:appene:v:201:y:2017:i:c:p:363-370 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alauddin, Mohammad & Sharma, Bharat R., 2013. "Inter-district rice water productivity differences in Bangladesh: An empirical exploration and implications," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 210-218.
    6. Blanco-Gutiérrez, Irene & Varela-Ortega, Consuelo & Flichman, Guillermo, 2011. "Cost-effectiveness of groundwater conservation measures: A multi-level analysis with policy implications," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(4), pages 639-652, February.
    7. Rattan Lal, 2014. "Climate Strategic Soil Management," Challenges, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, February.
    8. Getnet, Kindie & Pfeifer, Catherine & MacAlister, Charlotte, 2014. "Economic incentives and natural resource management among small-scale farmers: Addressing the missing link," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-7.
    9. Talukder, Dayal & Chile, Love, 2014. "Characteristics of Rice Cultivation and Rural Rice Market in Bangladesh: Evidence from a Survey," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 15(2), June.
    10. Poudel, Mahadeb Prasad & Chen, Shwu-En & Ghimire, Raju, 2013. "Rice Yield Distribution and Risk Assessment in South Asian Countries: A Statistical Investigation," International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development (IJAMAD), Iranian Association of Agricultural Economics, vol. 3(1), March.
    11. Valbuena, Diego & Tui, Sabine Homann-Kee & Erenstein, Olaf & Teufel, Nils & Duncan, Alan & Abdoulaye, Tahirou & Swain, Braja & Mekonnen, Kindu & Germaine, Ibro & Gérard, Bruno, 2015. "Identifying determinants, pressures and trade-offs of crop residue use in mixed smallholder farms in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 107-118.
    12. Chattopadhyay, Pallavi Banerjee & Rangarajan, R., 2014. "Application of ANN in sketching spatial nonlinearity of unconfined aquifer in agricultural basin," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 81-91.
    13. Pullabhotla, Hemant & Ganesh-Kumar, A., 2012. "Review of input and output policies for cereal production in Bangladesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1199, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. Polimeni, John M. & Iorgulescu, Raluca I. & Chandrasekara, Ray, 2014. "Trans-border public health vulnerability and hydroelectric projects: The case of Yali Falls Dam," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 81-89.
    15. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:12:p:2019-2026 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Alauddin, Mohammad & Sarker, Md Abdur Rashid, 2014. "Climate change and farm-level adaptation decisions and strategies in drought-prone and groundwater-depleted areas of Bangladesh: an empirical investigation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 204-213.

    More about this item


    Agricultural intensification; environmental intensification; groundwater intensity.; Environmental Economics and Policy; O1; Q0; Q2;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation


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