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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Dairy farmers’ willingness to adopt cleaner production practices for water conservation: A discrete choice experiment in Mejia, Ecuador

Ortiz, Cristhian A.; Avila-Santamaria, Jorge J.; Martinez-Cruz, Adan L.


Worldwide, farming practices directly impact the quality and quantity of both underground and surface water resources. In Mejia, the leading milk-producing region of Ecuador, the adoption rate of conservation practices among farmers is low despite price incentives established by the Agricultural Ministry. Our discrete choice experiment documents stated preferences for water conservation practices of Mejia’s dairy farmers by facing respondents to alternatives described in terms of water-efficient technologies, management of manure and solid waste, and training to resolve conflicts over water use. Estimates derived from our preferred random parameter logit specification imply that the average willingness to pay (WTP) for a solid rain irrigation system is US$147 ha-1; and US$212 ha-1 for training to resolve conflicts. In addition, we report heterogeneity in WTP estimates. These findings can assist in the resolution of current issues in Mejia, including inefficient water irrigation and weak water governance system. Based on our results and the context of our study area, we suggest, first, the adoption of a cost-sharing scheme (given that the WTP for these practices does not cover their implementation cost), and second, the participation of academic institutions to help these water users resolve conflicts, establish their own rules, and improve water governance.


Water conservation practices; Discrete choice experiment; Irrigation technology; Dairy production; Manure and solid waste management; Water governance

Published in

Agricultural Water Management
2023, Volume: 278, article number: 108168

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Business Administration

    Publication identifier


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