Exploring water resource economics: a study on groundwater efficiency and yield optimization in cotton farming across Sindh, Pakistan

Akbar K. Khajjak, Tehmina Mangan, Anosha Nangraj


Groundwater exploitation depletes the water table, endangering the region's delicate natural systems. However, the groundwater level in Sindh will fluctuate in order to satisfy irrigation water requirements, which has not been well examined to assess agricultural sustainability. The increased water demand due to the expanding population has caused the agriculture community to consume groundwater, hence the groundwater table is fast diminishing. The present study expounds the cotton growers' technical, allocative, economic, and water usage efficiencies. In addition, the research looked into the factors that influence cotton producers' allocative efficiency and offered policy implications based on the findings. Primary data was obtained from 390 cotton producers, 195 from each of the Chihu and Malwa minor canals in Naushero Feroze and Benazirabad districts, respectively. Data Envelope Analyses (DEA) were used to assess technical, allocative, economic, and ground water efficiencies, while a two-limit tobit regression model was used to investigate factors impacting allocative efficiency. The study's findings reveal that cotton producers exhibit commendable technical efficiency, with scores surpassing 70%. However, deficiencies emerge in resource allocation, input-output effectiveness, and groundwater utilization, where a majority of scores fall below 50%. Growers' experience and tube well depth significantly influence allocative efficiency. Notably, the head section of canals has greater access to surface water, leading middle and tail users to rely more on groundwater, elevating their production costs. This underscores the importance of a multidisciplinary approach by stakeholders in addressing these challenges. Authorities, particularly the irrigation department, should address disparities among head, middle, and tail users. Furthermore, imparting comprehensive knowledge to growers regarding resource management and efficient farming practices is essential for sustainable solutions. 


Groundwater; Cotton Crop; Water-Use Efficiency; Tobit


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DOI: 10.33687/ijae.012.001.5031


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