Appraisal of Economic Impact of Zero Tillage, Laser Land Levelling and Bed-Furrow Interventions in Punjab, Pakistan

Abid Latif, Abdul Sattar Shakir, Muhammad Usman Rashid

Abstract


Irrigation is inevitable for profitable farming in arid and semi-arid regions. Water shortage is augmenting all over the world including Pakistan, due to which agriculture sector is facing critical challenges. For sustainable and feasible agriculture production, the cost of crop inputs needs to be reduced and at the same time the efficiency of resources must be enhanced. Resource conservation interventions (RCIs) play a vital role to achieve these goals. The RCIs include laser land levelling (LLL), zero tillage (ZT) and bed-furrow (BF). A survey was conducted in year 2011-12 in ten districts of Punjab for data collection regarding the agriculture inputs and outputs of RCIs and traditional irrigation system. The study area lies in rice-wheat cropping zone in Punjab, Pakistan. The analysis of data concluded that these interventions have enhanced the crop yield; saved significant irrigation water and increased the income of the farmers. Irrigation water saved by laser land levelling, zero tillage and bed-furrow was 31, 49 and 40 percent per hectare respectively in the selected irrigated areas. Water productivity was higher for zero tillage farms (2.02 kg/m3 ) followed by bed-furrow (1.59 kg/m3 ) and laser land levelling farms (1.58 kg/m3 ). Fertilizer use efficiency by zero tillage, bed-furrow and laser land levelling was 19.1, 18.19 and 17.7 percent per hectare respectively as compared to traditional farming (13.98 percent). Therefore, the resource conservation interventions provide excellent tool for making development towards improving and sustaining agriculture production, ensure food security and poverty empowerment in Pakistan and elsewhere under similar socioenvironmental conditions.

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References


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