Abstract for:When soon is already too late: How resilience and sustainability are indivisible in a country facing rapid environmental and socio-economic changes The case of fresh tomato in Morocco
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 food crop, and also a key cash crop for the producers and it 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 farmers’ livelihoods, we build a system dynamics model. The model allows studying the synergies and trade-offs between different goals such as productivity, resilience and sustainability under rapidly changing framework conditions. Results show the necessity for an effective and alternative water supply for irrigation, through integrated policies. The predicted increasing droughts in the future indicates that urgent action is needed to provide resilient and sustainable solutions for farmers.