A Step toward Water Use Sustainability: Implementing a Business Model Canvas for Irrigation Advisory Services

Alessandra Santini, Antonella Di Fonzo, Elisa Giampietri*, Andrea Martelli, Orlando Cimino, Anna Dalla Marta, Maria Carmela Annosi, Francisco José Blanco-Velázquez, Teresa Del Giudice, Filiberto Altobelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Some major future global challenges are linked to more efficient use of water for irrigation to respond to the growing water scarcity coupled with the increasing food demand. Although irrigation advisory services (IASs) are considered effective instruments to increase water use efficiency in agriculture, their diffusion remains limited. This is due to several constraints mainly linked to their low accessibility and high costs. To overcome the bottlenecks associated with IASs’ adoption, this paper proposes a business model (BM) as a tool for scaling up IASs within a business perspective, with the aim of encouraging the diffusion of this technology while enhancing the associated environmental and social benefits. Drawn from the experience of the OPERA project, we structured the business model taking advantage of the opinion of relevant stakeholders and IASs’ potential users to identify specific limitations and understand their needs. It turned out that farmers are willing to adopt IASs but require that the service is easily accessible, with high-quality information that are delivered at an affordable cost. Indeed, here a BM with an innovative way to produce and deliver value is proposed. The value proposition is built upon key features namely, integration, customization, accessibility, and sustainability that reflect users’ needs and preferences. Our BM also provides a detailed revenues strategy that guarantees the financial sustainability of IASs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1081
Number of pages13
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • business model
  • irrigation
  • irrigation advisory services
  • sustainable agriculture
  • water use efficiency


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