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Open AccessArticle

Barriers and Facilitators for Adopting Sustainable Soil Management Practices in Mediterranean Olive Groves

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Department of Economy and Business, Research Centre CAESCG and CIAIMBITAL, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
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Department of Agronomy and Agrifood Campus of International Excellence ceiA3, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040506
Received: 5 March 2020 / Revised: 26 March 2020 / Accepted: 30 March 2020 / Published: 2 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Weed Science and Weed Management)
Soil is a fundamental resource, subject to severe and quick degradation processes because of the pressure of human activities, particularly in many regions of the Mediterranean where agriculture is an important economic activity. It has been proven that the use of sustainable soil management practices can potentially give rise to the creation of a carbon sink, an increase of soil organic matter content, the maintenance of crop productivity and a reduction in erosion. Despite the existence of scientific evidence about the benefits generated by the use of sustainable practices on soil, many farmers are reluctant to adopt them. The objective of this study is to identify and give a hierarchical structure to the factors that condition the adoption of sustainable practices in the management of agricultural soil. The case of olive tree cultivation in Southeast Spain has been studied, using a participatory qualitative methodology. The results show a series of seven principal barriers (information, costs, risk aversion, characteristics of the farm and sustainable practices, macro factors, and cultural barriers) and five facilitators (technology, farmer training, awareness, incentives, and social pressure) for the adoption of the proposed sustainable agricultural practices. The principal political and legislative actions proposed to increase the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices include: administrative control, fostering environmental awareness, technical knowledge, and on-farm demonstrations; and, on the economic and financial level, incorporation of both general incentives and subsidizing specific costs. This study contributes to the development and discussion of intervention proposals that are designed to stimulate the implementation of sustainable practices in agricultural soil management. View Full-Text
Keywords: impact assessment; Delphi; agricultural development; sustainability; Mediterranean basin; participatory qualitative methodology impact assessment; Delphi; agricultural development; sustainability; Mediterranean basin; participatory qualitative methodology
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Aznar-Sánchez, J.A.; Velasco-Muñoz, J.F.; López-Felices, B.; del Moral-Torres, F. Barriers and Facilitators for Adopting Sustainable Soil Management Practices in Mediterranean Olive Groves. Agronomy 2020, 10, 506.

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