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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Frija, Aymen & Chebil, Ali & Speelman, Stijn & Buysse, Jeroen & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2009. "Water use and technical efficiencies in horticultural greenhouses in Tunisia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1509-1516, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:96:y:2009:i:11:p:1509-1516
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    Cited by:

    1. Pereira, Helga & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2017. "An analytical review of irrigation efficiency measured using deterministic and stochastic models," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 28-35.
    2. Gadanakis, Yiorgos & Bennett, Richard & Park, Julian & Areal, Francisco Jose, 2015. "Improving productivity and water use efficiency: A case study of farms in England," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 22-32.
    3. Ali Chebil & Aymen Frija, 2014. "Impact of Improving Irrigation Water Use Efficiency on the Valorization of Water Resources: Case of Irrigated Wheat Production Systems in Central Tunisia," Working Papers 865, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2014.
    4. Chebil, Ali & Frija, Aymen, 2016. "Impact of improving water-use efficiency on its valuation: The case of irrigated wheat production in Tunisia," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(2), June.
    5. Varghese, Shalet Korattukudy & Veettil, Prakashan Chellattan & Speelman, Stijn & Buysse, Jeroen & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2013. "Estimating the causal effect of water scarcity on the groundwater use efficiency of rice farming in South India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 55-64.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9793-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Njiraini, Georgina W. & Thiam, Djiby Racine & Muchapondwa, Edwin, 2016. "Implications of water policy reforms on water use efficiency and quality in South Africa: The Olifants river basin," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246440, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    9. Chebil, Ali & Frija, Iheb & Bahri, Walid, 2014. "Irrigation water efficiency in wheat production in Chbika (Tunisia):Parametric versus Nonparametric Comparisons," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 15(1), January.
    10. Muhammad Arif Watto & Amin W. Mugera, 2014. "Measuring Production and Irrigation Efficiencies of Rice Farms: Evidence from the Punjab Province, Pakistan," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 301-322, September.
    11. Chebil, Ali & Abbas, Kais & Frija, Aymen, 2013. "Irrigation water use efficiency in central Tunisian's wheat production systems: A stochastic data envelopment approach," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 160290, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    12. Frija, Aymen & Chebil, Ali & Abdelkafi, Belhassen, 2012. "Irrigation water use efficiency in collective irrigated schemes of Tunisia: determinants and potential irrigation cost reduction," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 13(1), January.
    13. Jianjun Tang & Henk Folmer, 2016. "Latent vs. Observed Variables: Analysis of Irrigation Water Efficiency Using SEM and SUR," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 173-185, February.
    14. 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.
    15. 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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