Subsidizing Drip Irrigation: efficiency, the feminization of agriculture, and policy implications in Rajasthan

@ATREE auditorium at 3.45 pm on 18th July 2016

This paper examines the conditions under which the rapid spread of drip irrigation in India, where it is promoted as a water-use efficiency-enhancing technology, is not leading to reductions in water use. This paper draws on a case study from Rajasthan to argue 1) that farmers are incentivized to intensify production rather than reduce water usage and 2) that drip irrigation’s efficiency gains in productivity occur via a feminine labor subsidy that is resulting in a deepening of the ‘feminization of agriculture.” The paper concludes with a discussion drip irrigations’ impact on farmers’ livelihoods and its policy implications.

About the speaker
Trevor is a cultural and political ecologist, and development geographer. His work attempts to link the political economy of access to and control over environmental resources, and ecological change (political ecology), to issues of technology, knowledge, and social power, more typical of research in science and technology studies (STS). Trevor advanced these concerns by investigating the transformation of groundwater-based irrigation and urban and rural water supplies in South Asia. He also serves as Environment and Society Section Editor for the journal Geography Compass