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Title: Water use efficiency and public goods conservation: A spatial stochastic frontier model applied to irrigation in Southern Italy
Authors: Laureti, Tiziana 
benedetti, ilaria 
Branca, Giacomo 
Issue Date: 2020
Water used for irrigation is essential for global food production. Increased water scarcity, due to climate change,
is a constraint to agricultural development, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. This increases pressure on
agriculture which often manages water inefficiently and competes with other sectors for water use. Enhancing
farmers’ production efficiency may lead to substantial water savings and conservation. Public sector is called to
play a role in water governance and to introduce appropriate multilevel regulatory and incentive measures for
better water management. This work applies a spatial stochastic frontier model to the case of high waterdemanding fruit and vegetable crops in the Apulia region of Southern Italy, where water is scarce due to
semi-arid climate and erratic rainfall. Using cross-sectional data from the EU Farm Accountancy Data Network,
this work incorporates firm specific heterogeneity into technical efficiency analysis and implements an autoregressive specification of the inefficiency component. Results support the hypothesis that spatial heterogeneity
exists in on-farm efficiency of irrigated crop production and is adequately captured by the spatial stochastic
frontier model approach. Technical efficiency of farms with similar structural and management characteristics
greatly varies across crops and geographical areas, because of the different natural resource endowment and
agro-climatic factors. Policies providing incentives to on-farm adoption of modern water-saving technologies and
measures to promote small family farm activities could effectively contribute to water conservation goal, but
they should be well-articulated to account for agriculture spatial diverseness.
ISSN: 0038-0121
Rights: CC0 1.0 Universal
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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