SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT OF KEY ARABLE CROPPING SYSTEMS IN THE KOTAYK MARZ OF RA
In the context of a regional FAO project (GCP/RER/040/EC) (Improving capacities to eliminate and prevent recurrence of obsolete pesticides as a model for tackling unused hazardous chemicals in the former Soviet Union) covering a wide range of possible issues regarding pesticide management, a survey was performed to assess the sustainability of key arable cropping systems in the Republic of Armenia using the DEXiPM® (DEXi Pest Management) model. The continuous winter wheat (CS1), the winter wheat-maize-spring barley (cover crop) + alfalfa – alfalfa – alfalfa-alfalfa rotation (CS2) and the continuous potato system (CS3) were identiﬁed as the three key arable cropping systems in the Kotayk marz of the Republic of Armeniabased on the high importance of these crops in this country (i.e. food crops, high area cultivated, market potential).The Kotayk marz (province) was chosen as a case study for all cropping systems and more speciﬁcally the Hrazdan region for the CS1 and CS3and the Abovyan region for CS2. The DEXiPM® model showed that all cropping systems are not economically sustainable, with the CS1 receiving a ‘low’ evaluation, whereas CS2 and CS3 a ‘very low’ evaluation. CS3 had the highest production costs (high cost of pesticides and fuel), but also higher labour costs in comparison to the other systems. CS1 and CS2 were evaluated by DEXiPM as having a high environmental sustainability, whereas CS3 had a very low sustainability. Evaluation of the social sustainability of the systems indicated that CS1 and CS2 have a low sustainability. CS3 in this case received a medium sustainability score.
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