Modelling the trade-offs between farm income and the reduction of erosion and nitrate pollution

M. Mimouni*, S. Zekri, G. Flichman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Water is a very limited resource in Tunisia, both in quantity and in quality. Problems of quality are related to urban, industrial and agricultural activity. Erosion is causing dams to silt up and is leading to phosphorus accumulation in water. The use of agrochemicals, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, is causing problems of eutrophication. This paper presents the results of a study of sediment and nitrate pollution. The methodology used is based on the EPIC simulation model and a multi-objective programming model (MOPM). The data generated by EPIC are input for the MOPM together with the economic variables. These tools are applied to a 486 ha farm located in northern Tunisia which includes an irrigated area of 300 ha. The study considers three objectives: maximization of gross margin, minimization of erosion, and minimization of nitrate losses. The non-inferior set estimation method is implemented to generate the trade-off curves between the objectives. Results show that nitrate losses are important for both rainfed and irrigated land. The same conclusion is valid for erosion. It is shown that the farmer can reduce the environmental burden without decreasing gross margin, since he is operating below the efficiency curve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental impacts
  • Erosion
  • Multi-objective programming
  • Nitrate pollution
  • Tunisia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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