Call for Proposal on Research Study

Centers for International Projects Trust
Required Skill: 
Last date: 
Monday, February 17, 2020

Detailed Description

Project Background:

Farmers in Punjab continue to follow the unsustainable paddy-wheat cycle in cultivation despite awareness of its impact on ground water. Absence of water savings practices, access to water saving technologies and incentives to diversify their crop mix has pushed farmers into making unviable choices. Centers for International Projects Trust (CIPT) and Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) is implementing a project to seek solutions for responsible water use and long-term viability of agriculture in Punjab. The project aims to work with Punjab’s robust farmer cooperatives to promote digital water measurement solutions for efficient paddy-wheat cultivation; financial tools to track input costs with optimum water use and economic tools to trigger large scale adoption of conscious water practices.

Purpose of research study:

Punjab is known as India’s grain basket as it produces 20% of India’s wheat and 9% of India’s rice1 with only 1.57% of geographical area. The state’s contribution to the central pool is significant as it provides 60% of wheat and 40% of rice to the pool.In the 3 decades since 1980, Punjab witnessed a spectacular increase in agricultural production focussed on paddy-wheat cropping system helping the country achieve food sufficiency.

Scope of work

The purpose of the proposed study is to map Punjab’s water sources for agriculture and create cogent predictive scenarios for:

Water: Today and Future

  • Based on robust predictive modelling; where is Punjab headed if it continues to draw and replenish ground water as it does today?
  • Given the hydrogeological context of the state, what are the possibilities for ground water recharge in the state? To what extent have they been undertaken?
  • If the state had to improve rainwater conservation through surface storage; what would it need by way of resources?
  • What gap would these efforts be able to bridge if undertaken at scale?
  • In effect, if the state continues to use water the way it does; what will it need to invest to just maintain status quo?

Agri-Water Nexus

  • What will happen if the state continues to grow what it does with current water use efficiency rates?
  • What will happen if the state continues to grow what it does but drastically improves water use efficiency?
  • What will happen if the state transforms its crop mix to high value (instead of high yield) crops?
  • What would the latter entail in terms of investments, foregone state revenues, subsidies?

Role of Incentives and Allocations in current water, crop choices

  • Map the state’s investments, subsidies in programmes and revenue sources from agriculture
  • Highlight budgetary choices that the state makes today that makes any shift in agriculture difficult or unviable
  • Offer viable choices for the state to make the required shift out of paddy-wheat

Study Deliverables:

The proposed study must deliver clear data driven scenarios for the state and districts:

  • For ground water and overall water security (ground + surface) with a) status quo in current cropping patterns and b) with shifts in the crop mix towards more water responsible and remunerative crops that suit the state’s agroclimatic conditions
  • Feasible crop choices that can help Punjab be the architect of its next agricultural revolution
  • Financial scenarios including implications for the state’s finances and GDP with status quo visà-vis improved crop choices
  • Expert reviews of the study findings to build credibility for the emerging recommendations


The intended time frame for the entire study is a maximum of 6 months (August 30, 2020). The agency will be expected to share their preliminary findings (first draft) by August 15, 2020 and final report by August 30, 2020. The agency will be solely responsible for managing the assignment, data collection and coordination with different agency in Punjab.

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