Cristian Jordán Díaz

Ph.D. Candidate


Cristian Jordán Díaz, Chilean, is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Agricultural Economics. He holds two master’s degrees, in Agricultural Economics (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), and in International Agricultural Development (University of California, Davis, USA). Before joining  UGent, he spent around ten years working as a public servant in Chile, getting a good understanding of the Chilean agriculture and agricultural policies. The last four years he was working as an agricultural economist in the National Agency of Irrigation, in the socioeconomic evaluation of public irrigation infrastructures such as reservoirs, large dams, and irrigation systems and canals. 


Title: Beyond productivity. The role of public infrastructure to deal with droughts and boosting climate change adaptation of irrigated agriculture. A case study of irrigation dams in central Chile.

The research topic centers on public infrastructure and its impact on farmers’ decision-making on coping with and mitigating the effects of water shortages in the  irrigated sector in Central Chile. This area has been enduring a drought period, called a ‘mega-drought’ because of its extent and severity, since 2010. This dry period, alongside the export-driven focus of this type of agriculture, has pointed out to irrigation infrastructure, such as reservoirs and large irrigations dams, not just as means for boosting agricultural productivity, but also as potential solutions for supporting farmers to cope with droughts and to adapt to new adverse environmental conditions (hard path or planned adaptations). In this setting, this research takes an irrigation dam to evaluate its role beyond standard benefits (production outcomes), but rather assessing the effect on farmers actions and perceptions, production risk and challenges that poses climate change, such as future water usage, crop diversification, sustainability, and farm resilience.

Key words

Droughts, Public Adaptation, Perception, Production Risk, Water Management, irrigated agriculture, Chile

Contact details

Coupure Links 653, Office A2.098
B-9000 Ghent
+32 9 264 59 27