Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Public Expenditure on Irrigation and Its Impact on Agriculture Production: Evidence from an Indian State

Chittedi, Krishna Reddy and Bayya, Praveen Kumar (2012): Public Expenditure on Irrigation and Its Impact on Agriculture Production: Evidence from an Indian State.


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Inadequate supply of water for irrigation has been the severe problem for the most of the farmers in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. There are only very few districts where level of irrigation is reasonably sufficient. In most parts of the state, supply of water for crop cultivation has become a constant concern as the canal irrigation is unequally distributed across the state. As a result of failure of monsoon every year in one part or some parts of the state, farming becomes difficult due to regular crop losses. These conditions have created crisis in agricultural sector and as a result farmers has resorted to suicide. Creation of irrigation infrastructure has been the central in strategies for agricultural development for the State and Central Governments for the past five decades. The irrigation expenditure has been the largest expenditure (both plan and non-plan expenditure) item in the budgets over the years. In this context, the present study investigated the public expenditure on irrigation and its impact on Agriculture production in Andhra Pradesh, India.

The study has found that there is a significant positive relation between public expenditure and irrigation development over the period of time in Andhra Pradesh and the consequent increase in gross area cultivated. Cropping pattern in the state has changed due to expansion in irrigation facility. Particularly the area under rice cultivation has been increased after expansion in irrigation development. Increased gross area irrigation has led to multiple cropping expansions in Andhra Pradesh. However, the irrigation sector is characterized by several disquieting features: falling public investment, low canal water use efficiency (25–40 percent as comparable to an achievable level of 65 percent), poor maintenance of distributaries and watercourses due to low recovery from beneficiaries, and poor governance of the irrigation system. To sum up, irrigation infrastructure, major, medium and minor irrigation systems should be strengthened to enhance the agricultural production.

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