Improving nitrogen and water use efficiency for wheat production in Mediterranean countries : case of Tunisia
New Medit, vol 9, n.1, (March 2010), pp. 54-58
Jel classification: Q120
Better management of production factors, particularly water and nitrogen utilizations, is likely to improve economic returns of cereal crops in Mediterranean countries. In the framework of the WatNitMED project, Tunisia was chosen as pilot study case where a new nitrogen management technique is tested. The main objective of this work is to compare physical and economic returns obtained using the recommended nitrogen strategy against those obtained using conventional farmers practices. During 2006-2007, a sample of 31 cereal growers was selected for the purpose of testing the nitrogen package recommended by WatNitMED partners. Statistical results show that grain yields are not significantly different at 5%. However, average straw yields obtained using the recommended strategy is significantly higher than in the conventional case. Moreover, the average gross margin difference between the two management practices is statistically significant at 5%. Hence, the recommended strategy is likely to increase the farmer’s profits. Gross margins obtained using the new nitrogen management package are higher by 26% and 32% in the case of irrigated and rainfed areas respectively. Consequently, these results provide a basis for recommending the adoption of the proposed nitrogen technology.
Tunisia, efficiency, nitrogen, water, durum wheat