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A typology of irrigated farms as a tool for sustainable agricultural development in irrigation schemes: The case of the East Mitidja scheme, Algeria

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to propose the typology that links the characterization of the irrigated farms with their structural and functional aspects for the context of sustainable irrigated agricultural development. Design/methodology/approach ‐ East Mitidja scheme is selected for this study. About 134 farms are selected from the irrigation scheme. Multiple correspondence and ascendant hierarchical classification are used as data mining tools to characterize the typology of irrigated farms. Findings ‐ The typology provides a way of understanding the diversity of farms with regard to their socio-economic environment. It also helps to identify those farms that fall into broad categories of unsustainability. The latest implemented agricultural and irrigation policy has a differential effect on various types of farmers, favoring some and discouraging others. The socio-economic constraints have prevented the implementation of various development programs. This situation leads to the unsustainable exploitation of the water and land resources and to the promotion of unsustainable irrigation scheme. Practical implications ‐ The findings and results may help decision makers to implement appropriate interventions in terms of resources, conditions and interests that are compatible with each identified class of farms. Originality/value ‐ This is one of the first studies to explore irrigated agriculture development issues in Algeria using multivariate methods. The typological method can help policymakers to identify priorities. It can also be used to predict how different farmers will likely respond to government programs and policies regarding irrigated agricultural development.
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Keywords: Algeria; Farms; Irrigation works; Sustainable development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 3, 2009

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