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Groundwater irrigation for sustainable development in South Asia

AAEA annual meeting track session

The 2024 AAEA Annual Meeting Track Session sponsored by the International Section, “Groundwater irrigation for sustainable development in South Asia” will look at South Asia which is home to the world's largest number of smallholder farmers and the agricultural production in the region relies heavily on groundwater irrigation. Intensification of groundwater irrigation in the region is linked to improvement in food security and poverty reduction via higher agricultural productivity. However, it has serious implications on climate change, particularly because groundwater is extracted using fossil-fuel pumps. Efforts to curb CO2 emissions are underway, but the adoption of such practices and technologies is low and sporadic. In this session, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities of groundwater irrigation in South Asia highlighting three ongoing studies from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. We will discuss pricing farm electricity and water use efficiency in India, benefits of solar irrigation in Bangladesh and how the accumulation of human-made capital has contributed to the decline in groundwater capital in Nepal and India.

Presentations in this session:

  • Pricing Farm Electricity, Water Use and Efficiency: The Case of Paddy Cultivation in Punjab
    Disha Gupta, India Gandhi Institute of Development
  • A place in the sun: farmers' co-benefits from solar irrigation in Bangladesh
    Marie-Charlotte Buisson, IWMI-CGIAR
  • The Depletion of Groundwater Capital and Accumulation of Man-Made Capital
    Ram Fishman
  • Discussion on groundwater irrigation for sustainable development in South Asia
    Soumya Balasubramanya, The World Bank

This session will take place on Monday, July 29 from 2:45 pm – 4:15 pm CST in the New Orleans Marriott in Iberville on the fourth floor.

If you are interested in attending the 2024 AAEA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, please send a completed complimentary media registration to Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office. You can also learn more on our Annual Meeting Media Kit page.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications & Membership Manager
(414) 918-3190