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Multicriteria assessment and prioritization of rainwater harvesting techniques in Southeast Tunisia

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1 National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia, University of Carthage Tunisia

2 Higher School of Agriculture of Mograne, Zaghouan, University of Carthage Tunisia

3Institute of Arid Regions, Medenine, Tunisia


Abstract – In arid area, rainfed agriculture is one of the most vulnerable system to climate change. Stabilizing smallholder crop yields under changing climatic conditions will require adaptation of strategies focused on soil and water management. In Oum Zessar watershed (South-East Tunisia), Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) techniques is one of the adaptation strategies that has been adopted by farmers. At the scale of this watershed, we aimed to identify the current and potential RWH techniques. Then, to analyze the socio-economic and ecological determinants of their adoption by farmer’s and finally to evaluate and prioritize these techniques. Our approach was based on a comprehensive multi-criteria analysis method performed on data gathered with the help of a socio-economic surveys. Results show that age, gender, importance of the technology, education level, residence, household size, agricultural activity, exploitation size, farmer’s income, structure cost, slope and erosion are the most socio-economic and ecological determinants of adoption of RWH techniques. Furthermore, the study found that in the three watershed compartments (upstream, middle stream and downstream), Tabias, Mejels and Fesguias are the top priority RWH techniques. In contrary, buried stone pockets are suitable in the upstream and downstream compartments and mountain spillways are appropriate at middle stream areas.

Keywords: Rainfed agriculture, RWH techniques, multicriteria analysis, determinants of adoption, assessment and prioritization.


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This article is published under license to Journal of New Sciences. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

CC BY 4.0