In the context of climate change, concern is raising about the negative effects of some pruning waste management practices. On the one hand, burning of pruning residue is seen as controversial regarding its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, chipping the wood and using it as mulch is seen as highly risky regarding pest and disease control. Considering these issues, it is important to try to understand how and why these practices are adopted. In this study, we conducted in-depth interviews and survey questionnaires in the olive-growing region of Sierra Mágina (Andalusia) in order to explore (1) which were the pruning waste management practices in place, (2) which had been these practices in the past, and (3) which were the factors influencing the choice of different practices. Since 2010, there has been a shift in pruning waste management practices in this region, from stubble burning to chipping. This change seems to be led by older/retired farmers that have young and non-inherited groves. Moreover, this change is shown not to be necessarily a result of “greening” in agriculture but rather a result of intensification and mechanization. These results are discussed regarding the processes of innovation adoption in the region and the possible unforeseen externalities that derive from this change in pruning waste management practices.
Petra Benyei, Marianne Cohen, Étienne Grésillon
Regional Environmental Change