AEJSA Volume 14, Number 4: Oct-Dec, 2020

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Optimizing Returns and Labour in a Situation of Extreme Aridity: the Case of South Khorasan,
Iran

Lucio Cecchini, Azadeh Bakhshi, Fabio Maria Santucci

ABSTRACT: Agriculture is the major consumer of water worldwide. Competition for water is growing, as well as aridity and desertification. The improvement of water allocation is consequently a must, with and without hard and soft innovations. This paper presents an innovative econometric approach for optimal irrigation water allocation, within the current technological asset, in a very arid situation. It shows a Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) procedure, where two types of models have been implemented: the single Fractional Programming (FP) model and the Multiple Objectives Fractional Programming (MOFP) model. The models have been applied to identify the optimal cropping plans maximizing net income and labour, per unit of water used in a situation of extreme scarcity of groundwater. 237 farmers were interviewed in August 2017, in the South Khorasan province of Iran, with
a questionnaire containing 92 questions about technical and socio-economic aspects. The MOFP model indicates that the economic returns and the labour, per unit of water demanded, could improve respectively by 134.3% and 24.5%, on average, on the entire sample. Such results could be achieved with proper collection of agronomic and economic data, followed by fast data processing and farmer-specific advice, to support the producers in land use and crop choice design.

[ FULL TEXT PDF 1-10 ] DOI: 10.22587/aejsa.2020.14.4.1

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