Research and development in water-efficient crops, along with investment in alternative modes of irrigation, are a must
NITI Aayog’s recent report, “Composite Water Management Index", underscores the looming threat of India’s water crisis. Its current proportions are severe—about 200,000 people die every year due to inadequate access to water—and are set to become far more so. There are many dimensions to the problem. One of the most important is agriculture, given that it consumes about 83% of India’s freshwater resources. In this context, another recent report—the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) and Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations’ (Icrier’s) “Water Productivity Matching Of Major Crops"—holds important lessons.