The Political Economy of Agricultural Policy Reform in India

The Case of Fertilizer Supply and Electricity Supply for Groundwater Irrigation

Date: 
August 12, 2008
Time: 
12:00-1:30 pm
Presenter(s): 
Regina Birner, Surupa Gupta, and Neeru Sharma
Location: 

International Food Policy Research Institute
2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC
Fourth Floor Conference Facility

Abstract

The seminar will analyze the political economy of two fields of agricultural policy in India: fertilizer supply and electricity supply for groundwater irrigation. Subsidizing fertilizer and electricity supply has been an important component of the policy interventions that launched the Green Revolution in India. The subsidies for these two inputs have become subject to increasing concerns regarding their distributional implications, their fiscal feasibility and the environmental problems they are associated with: imbalanced use of nutrients, and overuse of groundwater.

Regina Birner is a Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI. She is leading IFPRI’s research program on “Governance for Agriculture and Rural Development.” Her research focuses on the political economy of agricultural policy-making, and on governance reforms that aim at improving agricultural and rural service provision. Prior to joining IFPRI, she was an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Rural Development at the University of Göttingen, Germany. She holds a PhD in Socioeconomics of Rural Development from the University of Göttingen, Germany.

Surupa Gupta teaches International Relations at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. At the time of conducting the study, she was an Irvine Fellow at the Whittier College, California. She specializes in international political economy, politics of economic development and economic reforms and South Asian politics. She received her Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Southern California, where she wrote her dissertation on the politics of economic liberalization in India. Her current research deals with the politics of trade policy-making in India.

Neeru Sharma is a Research Analyst based in IFPRI’s New Delhi Office. Her research interests focus on the political economy of policies that are aim at increasing the socio-economic and political participation of disadvantaged sections of society, and on the role of institutions and governance in this regard. She holds an MPhil from the Centre for Political Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, and she is currently pursuing a PhD at this center. Her PhD research deals with identity formation and political mobilization among the scheduled castes of Punjab.