Sustainable management for woody crops in Mediterranean dry-lands
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In the large inland extensions of the Spanish Mediterranean, dry-farming is predominant and the main crops are olive, vine and almond. These species represent an agricultural activity that is fundamental to the continued inhabitation of these regions. The aim of this work is to determine the chances this agriculture has of continuing by following criteria of sustainability. Having chosen goals of an economic, social and environmental nature, almost-ideal cropping plans are obtained using the Compromise Programming. Moreover, given the important role played by water availability in this type of agriculture, the study is completed by determining the impact that an irrigation-water pricing policy would have, as outlined in the European Water Framework Directive. The study leads to the conclusion that, increasing mechanization may be the most straightforward strategy to ensure the sustainability of farms in Spanish dry-lands, and specially if the current trend of increasing irrigation-water prices is consolidated.