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In­dia can im­prove wa­ter use and nutrient sup­ply by re­plac­ing rice with al­ter­na­tive ce­re­als such as maize, fin­ger mil­let, pearl mil­let, or sorghum, which can re­duce ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter de­mand by 33 per cent and pro­vide more nu­tri­tion—pro­tein, iron, and zinc. This is cru­cial as the cur­rent rice crop­ping sys­tem has con­trib­uted to chronic wa­ter stress in many parts of In­dia and the sit­u­a­tion is likely to worsen due to weak­en­ing mon­soon rains due to climate change. There are four pro­jected sce­nar­ios on how rice-har­vested dis­tricts can be re­placed with al­ter­na­tive kharif crops. In sce­nario 1 (A and E), rain­fall de­pen­dency can be re­duced by close to 21 per cent while iron lev­els can go up by 43 per cent. In sce­nario 2 (B and F), ir­ri­ga­tion de­pen­dency can go down by close to 33 per cent. In sce­nario 3 (C and G), pro­tein lev­els can be in­creased by 12.3 per cent. In the fi­nal sce­nario (D and H), iron lev­els can be in­creased by close to 50 per cent

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