TRANSITION FROM SURFACE TO DRIP IRRIGATION IN MOROCCO: ANALYSIS THROUGH THE MULTI-LEVEL PERSPECTIVE

Oumaima ASSOULI, Hamid EL BILALI, Aziz ABOUABDILLAH, Rachid HARBOUZE, Nabil El JAOUHARI, Mohamed CHAOUI, Rachid BOUABID

Апстракт


Agriculture uses more than 80% of water resources in Morocco. The sector is
inefficient in terms of water use due to the dominance of surface irrigation. To
address this issue, there have been efforts in Moroccan strategies to convert surface
irrigation to localized one. This paper analyses the dynamics of conversion from
surface irrigation to drip irrigation in Fez-Meknes region (north-eastern Morocco)
through the lens of the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) on socio-technical
transitions. MLP framework suggests that transitions are the results of dialectic
interactions among a niche (cf. novelty of drip irrigation), a regime (cf. traditional
system of surface irrigation) and the socio-technical landscape (e.g. policies). MLP
was complemented with a multi-capital approach to better assess transition
impacts. Results show that the area equipped with drip irrigation in Fez-Meknes
region increased from 2174 ha in 2008 to 39290 ha in 2016. Different programs
have been implemented in the framework of the Green Morocco Plan to foster
irrigation transition e.g. the National Irrigation Water Saving Program (PNEEI),
launched in 2007, aims to convert 550,000 ha to localized irrigation (e.g. drip
irrigation) in 15 years. Thanks to these programs, financial and technical support
has been provided to farmers to promote the adoption of water-saving irrigation
techniques and practices. Farm-level results show that transition to localized
irrigation decreases irrigation water use, increases yields and profitability (cf. gross
margin per ha), and improves water productivity. Despite an enabling policy
landscape and positive transition impacts, surface irrigation is still maintained in
the region and farmers are reluctant to change for many reasons (e.g. age and
education level, unclear land tenure, financial and administrative difficulties).
Efforts are still needed to train farmers on irrigation scheduling and on the use of
smart irrigation techniques to save water. Further research is required to better
understand current bottlenecks in the irrigation transition process and design
appropriate and context-specific transition governance strategies.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7251/AGRENG1803142A

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