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Abstract

The Green Revolution converted the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) into South Asia’s cereal basket. The recent slow down in cereal productivity growth and continuing poverty in the IGP pose a major challenge to agricultural research and development. To address this challenge it merits revisiting the resource scarcities that farmers actually face across the vast IGP. The paper uses a rapid primary data collection effort through village surveys in 12 clusters along an agro-ecological gradient in the Indian IGP to complement secondary data. The results show marked gradients in factor ratios and factor prices in the Indian IGP. Labor:land factor ratios and price ratios alone can thereby be misleading as they fail to capture the increasingly important role of capital in the post-Green Revolution setting. Relative to other IGP regions, the Green Revolution heartland is relatively capital abundant, explaining the advent of both land saving and labor saving technologies in the North-Western IGP. Further downstream the densely populated Eastern IGP is particularly capital scarce. Agricultural innovations emerging from either area are unlikely to be directly adequate for the other, calling for more investment in adaptive agricultural research to develop innovations in line with the prevailing resource scarcities.

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