Irrigation in India: building farms of the future

India faces widespread and complex water scarcity challenges, particularly in its farming sector: groundwater resources are rapidly declining and monsoon patterns more variable.

In response to these challenges, many Indian state governments have increased public investment in irrigated agriculture to promote agricultural growth. However, these efforts met with contrasting levels of success.

Madhya Pradesh has witnessed some of the fastest agricultural growth in India having taken steps to rehabilitate its irrigation systems, reform public-sector institutions and launch community-led efforts to ensure sustainable irrigation management.

However, findings from ongoing doctoral research at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment, indicate that farmers tend to switch to more water inefficient practices following irrigation investment, and new infrastructure does not necessarily protect crops from monsoon variability (Sinha et al., 2018).

The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment, and the Oxford Water Network, invite you to a unique event, convening policy makers from the Government of Madhya Pradesh, World Bank irrigation specialists, and experts from Oxford’s School of Geography.

This event will tell the story of Madhya Pradesh’s irrigation reforms, present ideas to inform future irrigation policy, and debate new ways to develop sustainable and resilient farms in India.

This event will be followed by refreshments at Somerville College.