IISD Report Measures Irrigation Subsidies in India

March 2011: IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) has published a new report on the use of irrigation subsidies in India that uses the GSI's Method for quantifying irrigation subsidies.

The report found subsidies to irrigated agriculture for major irrigation projects in four southern India states amounted to US$575 million per year from 2004 to 2008.  The study, prepared in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), uses a rigorous, transparent, and replicable methodology to provide the most comprehensive estimate of subsidies to irrigation in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.

The study assessed subsidies in Andhra Pradesh, where the government spent at least US$282 million per year in subsidies for major irrigation projects from 2004 – 2008. Energy subsidies in the form of free electricity to the irrigation sector were estimated at INR8 519.02 million (US$190.37 million) for 2008 and 2009. A per-hectare subsidy rate calculated for major irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh was applied to similar projects in the three other southern states (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala) to develop a regional estimate.

The study seeks to contribute towards improved transparency in India's agricultural subsidies. Going forward, the report encourages water authorities to maintain better records and publicly provide information on water costs, revenues and subsidies. [Publication: Measuring Irrigation Subsidies in Andhra Pradesh and Southern India: An Application of the GSI Method for Quantifying Subsidies]