An autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Finance


Agri-Environmental Sustainability of Indian States during 1990-91 to 2013-14

Publication date

Jan, 2020


NIPFP Working Paper No. 290


Sacchidananda Mukherjee


Improving economic viability of Indian agriculture is contingent upon agri-environmental sustainability (AES). For agriculture, environment acts as a sink of pollution load as well as inputs for production. Objective assessment of environmental impacts of Indian agriculture and impacts of polluted environment on agriculture are crucial for AES. The costs of polluted environment on agriculture will be borne by farmers in terms of loss of productivity and quality of farm produces. Comprehensive assessment of economic costs of environment on Indian agriculture is lacking. On the other hand, unless internalize environmental impacts of agriculture will be borne by the society – in terms of depletion and degradation of water resources, land degradation and emissions of GHGs. Environmental impact of agriculture will be largely borne by vulnerable sections of the society who cannot afford to adopt pollution aversion practices (or technologies) to avoid health hazards. Moreover, marginal and small farmers may also not be able to mitigate the impact of polluted environment on their farmland by adopting various coping mechanism (pollution averting behavior). Therefore agri-envirionmental sustainability of Indian agriculture is important for wellbeing of Indian farmers.  
In the absence of system of integrated environment and economic accounting (SEEA) in India, present paper builds a comprehensive agri-environmental sustainability index (AESI) based on 40 indicators to assess the potential (possible) impact of agriculture on environment. The study captures both spatial and temporal aspects of AES by covering 17 general category states for the period 1990-91 to 2013-14. The study comes out policy suggestions which could be useful to adopt sustainable agricultural practices. 
Key words: agro-ecosystem & environment; agri-environmental sustainability; agri-environmental indicator; sustainable agriculture; environmental sustainability; Indian states. 
JEL Classification Codes: Q56, Q15, C00
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