Reconciling food security, resource depletion and environmental quality trade-offs in India

New research, by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), delved into linkages between groundwater and agricultural burning policies in India. The study uncovered that groundwater conservation policies in Haryana and Punjab are exacerbating the nation’s air pollution crisis by concentrating crop residue burning in the late fall.

“Despite being illegal, the burning of post-harvest rice residues continues to be the most common practice of crop residue management, and while groundwater policies are helping arrest water depletion, they also appear to be exacerbating one of the most acute public health problems confronting India – air pollution,” said CIMMYT scientist and author of the study, Balwinder Singh.