The IDEA Method for Assessing Irrigated Cereal Farms Sustainability in Algerian Arid Zones: Case of Ouargla Region (Oued M'ya)

  •  Saida Chaouch    
  •  Zineb Djelfaoui    
  •  Saida Kebaili    
  •  Samuel Sandoval-Solis    


The agricultural sector in the Saharan regions of Algeria has seen, since 1983, the development program of cereal cultivation irrigated by pivots thanks, essentially, to the availability of underground water resources which constitute its keystone. In Ouargla, these farms strongly supported by the public authorities and sustained by neo-farmers have marked progressions and regressions in space and in time, some have disappeared, others have undergone changes thus calling into question their durability. This research aims to assess the sustainability of these farms by the IDEA method (Sustainability Indicators of Farms Agricultural- Indicateurs de Durabilité des Exploitations Agricoles) based mainly on three scales; the agro-ecological scale, the socio-territorial scale and the economic scale. The analysis of 13 farms shows that this is an artificial production system, the installation of which is at great risk and depends heavily on the will of agricultural policies and entrepreneur-farmers. The economic scale seems to have the best score, however the profits generated by the farmers can be explained more by the consistent support of the State than by a tangible accounting balance. At the socio-territorial level, most of the components are failing, in particular a very low diversity of products and a strong lack of employment. The agroecological scale constitutes the limiting factor par excellence with an agriculture which consumes a lot of non-renewable water and energy and at the same time destroys the soil resource by the phenomenon of salinization. Thus the three scales are failing and the limiting factor par excellence is the environmental scale, the consideration of which is strongly recommended both nationally and internationally. This research also highlights the need for a revision of certain indicators of the IDEA method with a view to adapting it to the local context of arid zones and to the cereal agrosystem in Ouargla.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-050X
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0518
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: quarterly

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