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Title: Contribution of virtual water to improving water security in Tunisia: a case study of wheat and olive growing farms in Zaghouan region
Authors: Souissi, Asma
Benalaya, Abdallah
Abdelkefi, Belhassen
Stambouli, Talel Ben Bechir
Ghezal, Lamia
Belaid, Rabeh
Naceur, Youssef
Oueslati, Marwa
Fekih, Saida
Benabdallah, Saker
Frija, Aymen
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: IV International Symposium
Abstract: Virtual water represents all freshwater used in the process of producing a commodity. In the case of agricultural products, many studies have focused on quantifying virtual water flows through international trade products. The concept of virtual water commercialization should be carefully studied as a potential solution for water scarcity, especially in countries facing risks of water shortage in a few years such as in Tunisia. The main idea of this paper is to optimize water use, by the mean of estimation of virtual water in exported crops which have high water consumption. We also analyze the crops that are imported and therefore, might contribute to save water. Commonly exported and imported crops are widely cultivated in the region of Zaghouan characterized by diversity of agricultural products. That’s why it could represent a good case study from Tunisia. In this study we especially focus on olive oil which is one of the most strategic exported products in Tunisia and on wheat as main imported product. We attempt to create technical and economic data sheets through monitoring about 40 farmers in this region. These sheets are not only to estimate the gross margin but also to calculate water demand for each crop allowing the estimation of virtual water. We found out that Tunisia may saves 1.13 m3 of water per kilogram of wheat if we import it instead of producing it domestically. In the case of olive trees, for an average yield of 2339 kg per hectare we exports 2.10 m3 of virtual water for every kilogram of exported olive. Results presented in this study are of essential implications for policy making regarding water use optimization and water security enhancement
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Appears in Collections:[DOCIART] Artículos científicos, técnicos y divulgativos

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