The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.
The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.

Resources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Technology and Work in Production and Distribution Systems: Rice in India

Research Partners:

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Principal Investigator: Barbara Harriss-White. Lead Organisation: University of Oxford

Co-investigators: Rebecca Maren White; Hema Ramakrishnan

Informal economies are neglected in debates about climate change and the long-awaited materials revolution. This trans-disciplinary pilot project will develop methods to study the informal economy’s materiality.

Methods: Uniting life-cycle analysis (from environmental science) with value chain/production system analysis (from management science and economics) and decent work criteria (from labour studies), it explores how capital, technology and labour are combined to produce commodities and GHGs. Multi-criteria analysis will then explore the costs and incommensurable trade-offs of technology lowering GHGs and improving livelihoods. 

Substance: CO2 (and possibly water) are chosen as indicators of materiality. The system of rice production and distribution is selected since the research team is familiar with its complexity.

Evidence: Data will be collected from semi-arid tropical regions. Four production technologies will be stylised, for large and small units (high yield varieties, systems of rice intensification, ‘labelled’ organic rice and rainfed rice); and four distribution channels (informal distribution, partially regulated markets, supermarket supply chains and the state’s public distribution systems).

Outreach: The project engages with stakeholders and communicates its results globally. Its intended impact is on uptake and on further applications.

Primary theme: 
Grant Reference: 
Project Status: 
Grant Category: 
Research Grant
Lead Organisation Department: 
Area Studies
Fund Start Date: 
October 1st, 2011
Fund End Date: 
June 30th, 2014
Fund Currency Code: 
Fund Value: