Citrus production conditions : Report on current requirements, challenges and opportunities for innovation within citrus (by-products) supply chains
A sustainable citrus cropping system requires increasing water use efficiency and enhancing knowledge of crop water use. This prerequisite is more pronounced in the regions qualified as climate change hotspot such as the Mediterranean region. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate citrus climatic conditions in the region of North Africa as well as at finding the water requirement of citrus trees. To reach this goal, a descriptive method which describes the crop water requirement (CWR) affecting the citrus productivity using the FAO software CROPWAT 8.0; it requires the implementation of agrometeorological, cultural and soil data. Soil texture, because of its tight relation to the CWR, is the most investigated in this study.
The results show a disparate CWR of citrus according to climate differences between North African regions and the values go from 297 mm/year in Algiers to 1739 mm/year in Cairo. The CWR projection to 2050 shows an increment of 6 to 22%. Additionally, Agricultural Stress Index has been used and has shown that the flowering, which is most sensitive phonological stage, is particularly threatened by drought during the first decade of March 2022.
A predictive study has been carried out as well by using climatic models concerning Mediterranean region. The data, mainly temperature and rainfall has been modified consequently and reintroduced in CROPWAT. The results foresee 6 to 22% of irrigation requirement increment in the study region and Egypt is the most affected.
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