Water Use Efficiency in Irrigated Wheat Production Systems in Central Tunisia: A Stochastic Data Envelopment Approach

Ali Chebil, Kais Abbas, Aymen Frija


This study employs stochastic data envelopment analysis (SDEA) approach for irrigation water efficiency measuring of wheat farms in an irrigated area of Chbika (Central Tunisia). Data was collected from 170 wheat farms during 2010-2011 cropping season. The empirical results show that the average water use efficiency for durum wheat irrigation, calculated using this approach was only around 41% under constant returns to scale (CRS) assumption; while it was 44% under variable returns to scale (VRS) assumption. This suggests that there is substantial scope for improving irrigation water use efficiency of wheat in the study region, using the existing technology on wheat farms. A Tobit regression was used to identify the determinants of the irrigation water use efficiency in the studied sample. Results of the Tobit analysis show a positive effect of wheat variety, irrigation source, membership in water users associations, irrigation scheduling and experience, on water use efficiency. These results are valuable for policy makers since they can be easily integrated in the national guidelines of irrigation water strategy.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jas.v6n2p63

Journal of Agricultural Science ISSN 1916-9752 (Print) ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)

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