Regional Sustainability ›› 2023, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (3): 218-234.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2023.05.006

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Measuring the agricultural sustainability of India: An application of Pressure-State-Response (PSR) model

Surendra Singh JATAVa,*(), Kalu NAIKb   

  1. aBabasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, 226025, India
    bIndia Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi, 110012, India
  • Received:2022-10-31 Revised:2023-03-26 Accepted:2023-05-29 Online:2023-09-30 Published:2023-10-20
  • Contact: *E-mail address: (S.S. JATAV).


Analyzing agricultural sustainability is essential for designing and assessing rural development initiatives. However, accurately measuring agricultural sustainability is complicated since it involves so many different factors. This study provides a new suite of quantitative indicators for assessing agricultural sustainability at regional and district levels, involving environmental sustainability, social security, and economic security. Combining the Pressure-State-Response (PSR) model and indicator approach, this study creates a composite agricultural sustainability index for the 14 mainstream agro-climatic regions of India. The results of this study show that the Trans-Gengatic Plain Region (TGPR) ranks first in agricultural sustainability among India's 14 mainstream agro-climatic regions, while the Eastern Himalayan Region (EHR) ranks last. Higher livestock ownership, cropping intensity, per capita income, irrigation intensity, share of institutional credit, food grain productivity, crop diversification, awareness of minimum support price, knowledge sharing with fellow farmers, and young and working population, as well as better transportation facilities and membership of agricultural credit societies are influencing indicators responsible for higher agricultural sustainability in TGPR compared with EHR. Although, the scores of environmental sustainability indicators of EHR are quite good, its scores of social and economic security indicators are fairly low, putting it at the bottom of the rank of agricultural sustainability index among the 14 mainstream agro-climatic regions in India. This demonstrates the need of understanding agricultural sustainability in relation to social and economic dimensions. In a nation as diverse and complicated as India, it is the social structure that determines the health of the economy and environment. Last but not least, the sustainability assessment methodology may be used in a variety of India's agro-climatic regions.

Key words: Indicator approach, Agro-climatic region, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Pressure-State-Response (PSR) model, Environmental sustainability index, Economic security index, Social security index, Agricultural sustainability index