Global exports draining local water resources: Land concentration, food exports and water grabbing in the Ica Valley (Peru)

Andrea Pronti*, E. Zegarra, D. Rey Vicario, A. Graves

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The agro-export boom is threatening the sustainability of water resources in many regions around the world. This is the case of the Ica valley in Peru, where in the last decades traditional agriculture has been replaced by big agricultural businesses to meet the growing international food demand. This has led to increasing land concentration by large exporting farms jointly with an increase in groundwater exploitation for irrigation. In this paper, we analyze the effect of land concentration, exporting crop specialization and irrigation intensity on groundwater sustainability using an econometric approach. Our findings highlighted an inverse relation between groundwater sustainability in terms of water withdrawal in the Ica Valley and the intensity of irrigation (drip technology), commodity specialization and concentration of large farms. More research is needed to fully understand the impacts of this very important economic activity on Peru’s natural resources, to ensure its sustainability in the long term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Development
Volume177
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Groundwater sustainability
  • Ica Valley
  • Land concentration
  • Peru
  • Rebound effect
  • Water grabbing

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