Economic assessment of some technologies used in irrigated agriculture and their impacts on farmer?s livelihoods: Case of the Egyptian salt-affected soils farms uri icon

abstract

  • Salinity is a continuous challenge in Egypt because of the dry climate, and more salt being carried by the Nile River as a result of pollution, water shortage, seawater intrusion and human practices. Accumulation of excessive salt in irrigated soils of Egypt negatively affects crops? yields, reduce the effectiveness of irrigation, deteriorate soil structure and affect other soil quality. In this research paper, we hypothesized that farmers in the Saltaffected soils of Egypt grow crops at an economically efficient scheme, they efficiently use irrigation water and they can cope with soil salinity through using sustainable watersaving technologies and land conservation practices. The basic objective of this study is to test this hypothesis. To reach this objective, the methodology used was based on the calculation of different economic indicators using a 152 socioeconomic farm and household survey conducted in South El Husainia Plain (Egypt) during the 2011/2012 season. Empirical findings showed that cultivation of wheat, clover, cotton and maize is promising in the study area. Moreover, farmers are encouraged to grow wheat and clover in winter whereas, in summer, they are encouraged to grow cotton and maize since wheat and clover were the most economically efficient crops grown in winter whereas, cotton and maize gained the highest economic efficiency among studied crops in the summer season. In addition, clover and maize were the most profitable crops from water efficiency standpoints in winter and summer, respectively. Moreover, only about 88%, 34%, 21% and of farmers in the study area use laser leveling, adding agricultural 59% gypsum, subsoiling and growing improved varieties and in their farms, respectively. Therefore, farmers are encouraged to adopt sustainable watersaving technologies and land conservation practices to overcome inappropriate soil conditions and irrigation management in the saltaffected land. Based on the results of this paper, raised bed is a potential watersaving technology suitable for the study area. Indeed, sufficient farmer?s access to knowledge and improving communication channels between the farmer and the agricultural extension, and skilled extension personnel on management practices relevant to saltaffected areas are of high importance to transfer .such promising techniques to farmers in the study area

publication date

  • 2013