Updated Jun 10, 2019

Laser land leveling for increasing water and energy productivity

Part of CIMMYT

Saving water and energy while boosting crop yields with laser leveling


Timothy j. Krupnik

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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Farm size is the most important factor that derives farmers’ willingness to pay for laser land leveling services and gives guidance on the market potential for the private sector and government programs to ensure inclusive access to this technology.

Focus Areas:

Soil Management and Water Management

Soil Management and Water ManagementSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Nepal and India

Nepal and IndiaSEE LESS

Lives Impacted to Date
Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding


Farmers who have uneven fields suffer from patchy irrigation application and higher water costs, with negative effects on crop yields, energy use, and profitability.



Ensuring uniform fields

Target Beneficiaries

Field crop farmers- with strong benefits in rice (all)

Innovation Description

Farmers’ fields in much of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia are typically uneven. This poses a significant management challenge to agronomic management where flood irrigation is applied. If fields are not level, the water and associated energy required to irrigate are significantly higher. Laser land leveling is an advanced technology that offers a 'fail safe' and efficient approach to ensuring field uniformity. Significant gains in profitability (ca. $150 per hectare per year) are achievable in rice-wheat systems through a combination of cost-savings and higher yields.

Competitive Advantage

Leveling with local implements is typically ineffective, and farmers can increasingly access leveling through affordable fee-for-service models

The Team Behind the Innovation

The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and implemented by a team of scientists and change-makers with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Operating across South Asia, CSISA works to increase the adoption of resource-conserving and climate-resilient technologies and improves farmers’ access to markets and enterprise development.



Nov 2018
Lives Impacted
Feb 2016
New Country Implemented In
Feb 2010
New Country Implemented In

Supporting Materials