Water & Irrigation
Juan G. R. The Spanish agricultural sector needs to improve profitability and water management.
Water and Irrigation Volume: 3, No. 1: 2-3, 2012,May, Spain.
During the past 12 years of this century in the period 2000 to 2012, prices paid to producers of agricultural products have changed little in Spain, but the cost of fertilizers, pesticides, oil, electricity, different inputs and investment in machinery, implements, agricultural buildings, equipment and irrigation systems have increased considerably, which has provoked that greatly reduce the benefits and a very low economic efficiency of the agriculture. The water increases agricultural yields and proper management of it will enable to increase the profitability of the products obtained.
Spanish agriculture is a very complex sector that is heavily influenced by many factors, in which the low profitability is driven by the low prices paid to the producer for agricultural products, increases in oil prices, higher electricity, water and various supplies that are part of the cost of agricultural production, the farm size and the aging of many of the farmers.
It is necessary to increase the profitability of the agricultural sector, ensuring better prices, reduce monoculture, increase crop diversity and the yields, allowing that in the medium to long term Spanish agriculture be modernized further and be a strong sector of high profitability that contributes to the reducing unemployment directly and indirectly and projected according to the new challenges of the times ahead.
It should improve water management especially if one takes into consideration that irrigation stabilized yields and double crop yields, the construction of water transfers and hydraulic complex will conduce water from areas with higher water to areas of insufficient water resources and reduce cost of operating and irrigation, which will allow further development and economic effectiveness of the regions benefiting from the water. The irrigation is affected by increased oil prices and increased electricity, as that about 70% of the irrigation areas of Spain are irrigated by drip, sprinkler and irrigation machines that need energy, contributing to reduce the profitability of irrigation.
It is recommended that realize more deeply the different economic studies of the feasibility of perspective water transfers and water works, valuing investments, demand for water, induced costs, environmental impact, operating costs, the social and determining the recovery time of investment, according to the plans of planting crops, livestock development areas and market demand, it will allow to make more efficient use of resources: money, water and human and a technical-economic most suitable choice.