Abstract for:Assessing the resilience of horticultural growers in a country facing rapid environmental and socio-economic changes, the case of fresh tomato in Morocco

In a world characterized by globalization of agricultural markets and climate change, farmers are increasingly exposed to various types of stresses. For horticultural growers, this is all the more striking as vegetable production, such as tomato, is input and water demanding. In Morocco, tomato is a key staple food crop, and also a key cash crop for the producers and constitutes a main agri-food export commodity of the country. On the other hand, water demand for irrigation has led to an overexploitation of the groundwater table causing significant natural resource management challenges in many parts of Morocco. The combination of groundwater changes and increasing drought raises concerns about the ability of tomato producers, to be sustainable and resilient to unexpected changes. To describe the interaction of environmental and socio-economic processes that influence farmersí livelihoods, a system dynamics modeling approach is used. The model allows studying the synergies and trade-offs between different goals such as productivity, resilience and sustainability under rapidly changing framework conditions. Results suggest that long-term consequences of groundwater depletion on yield, and subsequently farmers income, raise the necessity to ensure more sustainable agricultural production practices in order to enhance the resilience of vegetable growers in face of drought.†