Spanish National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology
Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research vol:11 issue:4 pages:894-907
In the Southern Bolivian Altiplano recent research has suggested to introduce deficit irrigation as a strategy to boost quinoa yields and to stabilize it at 2.0 ton ha–1. In this study we carried out an economic assessment of the implementation of deficit irrigation at farm level using a hydro-economic model for simulating profit for quinoa production. As input of the model we worked with previously developed farms typology (livestock, quinoa and subsistence farms), simulated quinoa production with and without irrigation using AquaCrop model, and calculated yield response functions for four different climate scenarios (wet, normal, dry and very dry years). Results from the hydro-economic model demonstrate that maximum profit is achieved with less applied irrigated water than for maximum yield, and irrigated quinoa earned more profit than rainfed production for all farms types and climate scenarios. As expected, the benefits of irrigation under dry and very dry climate conditions were higher than those under normal and wet years, and benefits among farms types were higher for quinoa farms. In fact, profit of irrigated quinoa might be stabilized at around BOB 6500 ha–1 (about USD 920) compared with the huge differences found for rainfed conditions for all climate scenarios.
Interestingly, the economic water productivity, expressed in terms of economic return for amount of applied irrigated
water (BOB mm–1), reached the highest values with intermediate and low level of water availability schemes of deficit irrigation for all climate scenarios.