The main purpose of this article is to estimate the impact of the direct rice sowing (DRS) technology on irrigation water saving in the Indo-Gangetic plains. For this study, a comprehensive data set was collected from the rice-wheat area of the Pakistani Punjab. In total, 238 farmers were interviewed from the three major rice-producing districts i.e. Gujranwala, Sheikhupura and Hafizabad. The empirical analysis was carried out by employing the propensity score matching approach to correct for potential sample selection bias that may arise due to systematic differences between the participants and non-participants. The empirical results indicate that the DRS technology is a water saving technology and, on average, the adopters need four less irrigation as compared to the traditional transplanting method. The DRS technology is also labour saving and requires less labour than the conventional rice sowing technology. The water productivity of the DRS technology is also higher as compared to the conventional transplanting method. The DRS technology also has a beneficial yield impact on the subsequent wheat crop. However, the major problem with the DRS technology is weed infestation which needs to be addressed. Farm size analysis indicates that DRS technology has a positive impact for all farmers and particularly on the small and medium scale farmers.

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