ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF CITRUS ORCHARDS UNDER DEFICIT IRRIGATION IN SOUTH ITALY
Citrus orchards are economically one of the most important crops in South Italy, where climate is semi-arid with scarce rain and high evaporative demand. One way to optimize water resources in this region is to adopt deficit irrigation (DI) strategies, such as regulated deficit irrigation (RDI). In Mediterranean regions, DI criteria have been widely applied and crop physiological responses to water deficit application have been studied in depth, but the profitability of these strategies in commercial orchards is still largely unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the economic feasibility of DI treatment on orange orchards in Sicily (South Italy), by estimating optimum levels of applied water which provide maximum profit under limited resource availability (e.g. land or water). The applied methodology follows the economic analysis on DI suggested by English in 1990. The analysis of the profit/total costs ratio showed that Deficit Irrigation strategies would increase the generated income, thus being more profitable (up to a maximum of 100%) than the current irrigation water supply management in the area.
Capra, A., Consoli, S. and Scicolone, B. (2011). ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF CITRUS ORCHARDS UNDER DEFICIT IRRIGATION IN SOUTH ITALY. Acta Hortic. 922, 209-215
cost-benefit analysis, net benefit, orange groves, yield, water use efficiency, water scarce