Researcher in natural resource economics for agro-ecological transitions

In a context of climate change, agro-ecological transitions in irrigation systems receive currently increased attention to move towards sustainable and resilient irrigation practices that rely on ecological processes and natural resources. Such transitions involve a shift in the way we think about and manage irrigation systems, and a focus on the interactions between irrigation, crops, livestock and the environment, while supporting the revitalization of rural communities and territories through sustainable local food systems and new economic opportunities. However, there has been little research into agro-ecological transitions in irrigated territories, particularly in arid and semi-arid environments. When available, this research often focuses on agronomic, hydrological and ecological aspects and much less on the economic dimensions of these transitions.

As an economist within an interdisciplinary team, you will play a key role in analysing the socio-economic conditions and challenges of agro-ecological transitions for irrigated territories in semi-arid regions. By working to facilitate the adaptation of stakeholders to ongoing changes, you will contribute to the development of solutions that support the transition to agro-ecological practices. In particular, you will contribute to:
– Study the economic dynamics within irrigated territories, analysing and evaluating agro-ecological options for the sustainable intensification of irrigated areas, evaluating the additional costs and risks borne by farmers/communities/sectors in increasingly uncertain climatic and market environments
– Analyse and anticipating the response of stakeholders (farmers, intermediaries, managers, policy makers) to agro-ecological policies and innovations, in particular by means of controlled experiments enabling their preferences to be established and their economic behaviour to be explained
– Study the potential of water and agricultural policies, economic levers/tools and institutional innovations intended to promote agro-ecological practices in irrigated systems and water territories in stakeholders’ decisions.

By working in collaboration with rural populations, users, and agricultural and water managers, you will conduct a comprehensive diagnosis of the challenges and opportunities for agro-ecological transitions in irrigated territories. Based on this diagnosis, you will develop models for interpreting, analysing, and evaluating the practices, social representations, and behaviour of stakeholders. These models will help to identify theconditions for and feasibility of change at various scales, including the household, farm, rural community, sector, territory, or catchment level. You will join an interdisciplinary team, conceiving operational methods and protocols in the laboratory and in the field. These protocols may be included in participatory approaches, by offering communities the opportunity to jointly construct experimental protocols and analyse the results.

Job location : Southern Africa
Nature of the job : Permanent position
Contact person : Caroline Lejars,
Application deadline : 27/03/2023
Attached file : cirad-researcher-in-natural-resource-economics-for-agro-ecological-transitions.pdf