Water demand is continuously increasing worldwide parallel with the growing population. Because agriculture is considered as a significant water consumption sector, water demand in this sector may be reduced by improving water use efficiency to make farming more irrigated and sustainable. This study was planned to estimate the technical and water use efficiency of hazelnut growers in Carsamba district of Samsun, Turkey. For this purpose, a sample of 350 farmers representing this district was drawn in advance. Hazelnut growers were identified from this sample, and they were contacted in Spring 2016 season to administer a questionnaire regarding their farming practices, particularly irrigation. Results of the study showed that only 27.70% hazelnut growers were irrigating their hazelnut orchards by a specific source of water (canal, reservoir, or groundwater). Among these farmers who used irrigation for hazelnuts only 13.40% adopted the pressurized irrigation systems, namely sprinkler or drip irrigation, and the remaining farmers were using the floating irrigation method. The adopters used lower quantity of water and received higher yields as compared to non-adopters. Similarly, they were 98% technically efficient, and their water use efficiency level was 78%. The same figures for non-adopters were 94 and 54%, respectively. It was concluded that both of the two groups were technically efficient, but hazelnut growers may focus on water saving by adopting the pressurized irrigation systems which reduce water wastage and enable the growers to use water sources efficiently.
Key words: Water use efficiency, technical efficiency, pressurized irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation, floating irrigation, hazelnut farming, data envelopment analysis (DEA).
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