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Gramaccioni, Berangere, 2020. Understanding discourses on technological interventions to tackle soil salinity : a case study from Khuzestan, Iran. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

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Soil salinity is an environmental hazard in arid and semi-arid regions in the world, diminishing
crops growth and, hence, affecting agricultural production. One scientifically accepted solution to
contrast the problem is the practice of leaching, consisting in the application of an extra amount of
water, in addition to that used for irrigation, which can remove salts from the root zone, washed
away through drainage. In the province of Khuzestan, Iran, the issue of soil salinity adds to and is
fed by the bad quality and poor quantity of water sources, and it seems to be worsened by a lack of
appropriate drainage system, so that leaching has not been adopted yet. This thesis has a dual goal:
besides assessing if interventions such as leaching are feasible in the context of Khuzestan, it
sheds new light on the underlying existing socio-economic factors that constrain their adoption.
More specifically, it explores the discourses on the adoption of technical interventions needed to
address soil salinity developed by the different stakeholders involved in the improvement of
irrigation networks in the region, namely farmers, scientific experts, and the governmental
authorities. This is done by combining interviews with local farmers carried out in Khuzestan with
scientific reports drafted by experts of the Humboldt University of Berlin for the Khuzestan
Region and Power Authority. The results show how not only is soil salinity an environmental
hazard, but also it can represent an important economic constraint. Power relations among
stakeholders affect which and whose opinions get the possibility to be materialized into practice,
what actions to be taken and what priorities to be given. Ultimately, it is shown that limited
finances represent an important variable to farmers' experiences, and that this influences greatly
the adoption and shaping of technologies. It is highlighted that the designing of technological
interventions to prevent and tackle soil salinity in irrigation networks should take into account
local socio-economic constraints, to allow a successful adoption of new strategies. This work
concludes that issues faced by the local populations need to be fully understood, to realize what
solutions may match their needs.

Main title:Understanding discourses on technological interventions to tackle soil salinity
Subtitle:a case study from Khuzestan, Iran
Authors:Gramaccioni, Berangere
Supervisor:Fischer, Harry
Examiner:Fischer, Klara
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:soil salinity, leaching, irrigation, irrigation management, technological development, critical discourse analysis
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Soil fertility
Deposited On:16 Nov 2020 11:21
Metadata Last Modified:17 Nov 2020 02:01

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