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Unlocking the unsustainable rice-wheat system of Indian Punjab: Assessing alternatives to crop-residue burning from a systems perspective

Downing, Andrea S. and Kumar, Manish and Andersson, August and Causevic, Amar and Gustafsson, Örjan and Joshi, Niraj U. and Krishnamurthy, Chandra and Scholtens, Bert and Crona, Beatrice (2022). Unlocking the unsustainable rice-wheat system of Indian Punjab: Assessing alternatives to crop-residue burning from a systems perspective. Ecological Economics. 195 , 107364
[Research article]

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Abstract

Crop residue burning in Indian Punjab emits particulate matter with detrimental impacts on health, climate and that threaten agricultural production. Though legal and technological barriers to residue burning exist – and alternatives considered more profitable to farmers – residue burning continues. We review black carbon (BC) emissions from residue burning in Punjab, analyse social-ecological processes driving residue burning, and rice and wheat value-chains. Our aims are to a) understand system feedbacks driving agricultural practices in Punjab; b) identify systemic effects of alternatives to residue burning and c) identify companies and financial actors investing in agricultural production in Punjab. We find feedbacks locking the system into crop residue burning. The Government of India has greatest financial leverage and risk in the current system. Corporate stakeholders have little financial incentive to enact change, but sufficient stakes in the value chains to influence change. Agricultural policy changes are necessary to reduce harmful impacts of current practices, but insufficient to bringing about sustainability. Transformative changes will require crop diversification, circular business models and green financing. Intermediating financial institutions setting sustainability conditions on loans could leverage these changes. Sustainability requires the systems perspective we provide, to reconnect production with demand and with supporting environmental conditions.

Authors/Creators:Downing, Andrea S. and Kumar, Manish and Andersson, August and Causevic, Amar and Gustafsson, Örjan and Joshi, Niraj U. and Krishnamurthy, Chandra and Scholtens, Bert and Crona, Beatrice
Title:Unlocking the unsustainable rice-wheat system of Indian Punjab: Assessing alternatives to crop-residue burning from a systems perspective
Series Name/Journal:Ecological Economics
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:195
Article number:107364
Number of Pages:13
ISSN:0921-8009
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:Crop residue burning, Black carbon emissions, Atmospheric Brown Cloud, Value chain analysis, Causal loop diagrams, Lock-in
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116446
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-116446
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107364
ID Code:27428
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Economics
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Mar 2022 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:24 Mar 2022 13:31

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