Analysis of water productivity and social impact on forage sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) in the Comarca Lagunera, Mexico


José L. Ríos-Flores
Juan A. Núñez-Colima
José A. Chávez-Rivero


Water footprint, Forage production, Water, Efficiency, Productivity


Objective: The purpose of the study was to compare the profitability, efficiency, and productivity indexes of water in forage sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and maize (Zea mays L.) production in the Comarca Lagunera in 2019.

Design/methodology/approach: Mathematical models were used to estimate the efficiency and productivity indexes of water used in sorghum and maize production. Data used in the mathematical models was obtained from official statistical sources.

Results: The water efficiency and physical productivity results were 226 L kg-1 and 4.42 kg m-3 and 221 L kg-1 and 4.52 kg m-3 for sorghum and maize, respectively. The efficiency and economic productivity indexes of water were 82.87 and 49.96 m3 per USD profit and $12,067 and $20,018 USD profit per hm3. Nevertheless, social efficiency was higher in maize (7.7 employments hm-3) than sorghum (7.1 employments hm-3), which required 8% more water to produce an employment unit.

Study Limitations/Implications: Models should be used to compare different productivity indexes of sorghum and maize in the Comarca Lagunera which has a shortage of water resources.

Findings/Conclusions: In the case of the Comarca Lagunera, maize was more productive and efficient than sorghum in physical, economic and social terms (employment creation); however, further research must take into consideration dynamic models.

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