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Water use and technical efficiencies in horticultural greenhouses in Tunisia

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  • Frija, Aymen
  • Chebil, Ali
  • Speelman, Stijn
  • Buysse, Jeroen
  • Van Huylenbroeck, Guido

Abstract

We measure the technical efficiency of unheated greenhouse farms in Tunisia, and propose a measure for irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) using an alternative form of the data envelopment analysis (DEA) model. Technical efficiency measures the degree to which (all) farm inputs are used efficiently. IWUE is a measure of the efficiency of irrigation water use when other inputs and output are kept constant. As a second stage, a tobit model is used to identify the degree to which technical efficiency and IWUE correlate with a set of explanatory variables. A comparison of the efficiency scores obtained from constant returns to scale (CRS) and variable returns to scale (VRS) specifications shows that most farmers in our sample are producing at an efficient scale. Under the CRS assumption, the average technical efficiency of the sample was 67.3%. A similar pattern of scores was shown for IWUE; although in this case the average IWUE was even lower (42%). This implies that when all other inputs remain constant, the current output could be produced using, on average, 58% less irrigation water. We conclude that farmers' technical training in greenhouse management, investments in water saving technologies and the existence of a fertigation technique on farm have a significant and positive effect on their level of IWUE. However, IWUE is significantly and negatively affected by the proportion of total farm land allocated to greenhouses.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.

Volume (Year): 96 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 1509-1516

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:96:y:2009:i:11:p:1509-1516

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agwat

Related research

Keywords: Irrigated production Data envelopment analysis Tobit model;

References

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  1. Wichelns, Dennis, 2003. "Enhancing water policy discussions by including analysis of non-water inputs and farm-level constraints," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 93-103, September.
  2. Alene, Arega D. & Zeller, Manfred, 2005. "Technology adoption and farmer efficiency in multiple crops production in eastern Ethiopia: A comparison of parametric and non-parametric distance functions," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 6(1), January.
  3. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  4. Abdul Wadud & Ben White, 2000. "Farm household efficiency in Bangladesh: a comparison of stochastic frontier and DEA methods," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1665-1673.
  5. Thiam, Abdourahmane & Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Rivas, Teodoro E., 2001. "Technical efficiency in developing country agriculture: a meta-analysis," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 25(2-3), pages 235-243, September.
  6. Tim Coelli & Sanzidur Rahman & Colin Thirtle, 2002. "Technical, Allocative, Cost and Scale Efficiencies in Bangladesh Rice Cultivation: A Non-parametric Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 607-626.
  7. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
  8. Dhehibi, Boubaker & Lachaal, Lassaad & Elloumi, Mohamed & Messaoud, Emna B., 2007. "Measuring irrigation water use efficiency using stochastic production frontier: An application on citrus producing farms in Tunisia," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 1(2), September.
  9. Lilienfeld, Amy & Asmild, Mette, 2007. "Estimation of excess water use in irrigated agriculture: A Data Envelopment Analysis approach," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-3), pages 73-82, December.
  10. Alfons Oude Lansink & Ky–sti Pietola, 2002. "Effciency and productivity of conventional and organic farms in Finland 1994--1997," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 51-66, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Watto, Muhammad, 2013. "Measuring Groundwater Irrigation Efficiency in Pakistan: A DEA Approach Using the Sub-vector and Slack-based Models," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152204, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  2. Watto, Muhammad Arif & Mugera, Amin William, 2013. "Measuring Groundwater Irrigation Efficiency in Pakistan: A DEA Approach Using the Sub-vector and Slack-based Models," Working Papers 144943, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  3. Chebil, Ali & Frija, Aymen & Abdelkafi, Belhassen, 2010. "Irrigation water use efficiency in collective irrigated schemes of Tunisia: determinants and potential irrigation cost reduction," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96158, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) & Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).

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