An estimation of virtual trades of embedded water and land through Sri Lankan seasonal crops’ trades to improve the cropping preferences

[thumbnail of water-14-04101 (1).pdf]
water-14-04101 (1).pdf - Published Version (11MB) | Preview
Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution

Rajabi, Zohreh ORCID: 0000-0002-7479-7652, Tariq, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman ORCID: 0000-0002-0226-7310 and Muttil, Nitin ORCID: 0000-0001-7758-8365 (2022) An estimation of virtual trades of embedded water and land through Sri Lankan seasonal crops’ trades to improve the cropping preferences. Water, 14 (24). ISSN 2073-4441


Due to the increase in population, growing urbanization, and higher demands for processed and unprocessed foods, resources related to food production have become scarce. Water and land can be considered as the primary resources to determine the crop production potential of a country. Ideally, countries that lack water and land resources can import these in virtual form. Sri Lanka is a country rich in water resources that faced bankruptcy recently. This study analyzes and explores the potential for use of land–water resources in Sri Lanka. A comprehensive framework is generated to identify the virtual land–water trade by considering ten major imports and nine major export crops in Sri Lanka. Consequently, the top ten imports/exports and top ten import/export trade partners are identified. The analysis reveals that Sri Lanka is a heavily import-dominant country, having seven times higher imports compared to exports. The country imports wheat, which is 82% of its import crops, and the same crop is the largest export (85% of crop export). Compared to its trade partners, Sri Lanka has sufficient water resources, but availability of arable land is limited. Banana is the largest export of the country, which involves higher embedded water and less land, matching the resource availability to Sri Lanka, whereas the trade partners are expected to continue importing the crop due to their water and land stress conditions. Finalization of the long-awaited agriculture policy of the country is strongly recommended.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/w14244101
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords population growth, resource distribution, agriculture, water, trade
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login