Adopting sustainable water management practices in agriculture based on stakeholder preferences

https://doi.org/10.17221/203/2022-AGRICECONCitation:

Velasco-Muñoz J.F., Aznar-Sánchez J.A., López-Felices B., Balacco G. (2022): Adopting sustainable water management practices in agriculture based on stakeholder preferences. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 68: 317–326.

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Technology has made it possible to achieve the very efficient use of water resources in agriculture. However, there are a set of practices that could increase both the availability and quality of the water resources, but which are not yet widely used. In view of the scarcity situation mainly produced by the consequences of climate change, the objective of this work is to analyse the adoption of sustainable irrigation management practices in agriculture. To this end, the aim is to identify and evaluate the variables involved in adopting sustainable practices in agriculture through the use of different qualitative research tools in successive phases (literature review, in-depth interviews, Delphi method and workshop). The results indicate that the sustainable practices to be adopted to improve water management in the study area are rainwater harvesting (RWH) and pond covering (PC). The main barriers are the costs, some farm characteristics and lack of research, while the facilitators include easy access to technology and the existence of farmer-to-farmer networks. Furthermore, the most influential stakeholders for these practices are the farmers, policymakers and researchers. Proposals for the adoption of sustainable water use practices have also been made consensually with all the involved agents.

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