Nonconventional Technology for Agricultural Development in Developing Countries
This paper concerns the economic assessment of a nonconventional technology to provide a cheap food and/or feed for many developing countries, using wasted resources, i.e. coastal arid areas irrigated directly with seawater to grow a halophyte crop(Salicornia-sos-7). It was cultivated for two successive years in Kuwait. The analysis showed that the harvested yield was 20 tons per hectare, which provided 12.42 MT of straw for sale and 1.7 MT of oil seeds for processing. Processed seeds of 1-hectare provide 425 kg of food oil and 1.1 MT of feed meal.Under Kuwait conditions, on per hectare basis, the total costs of production( fixed &variable costs)were $3088. However,simulation of this technology under a conventional developing country like Egypt with much less probability of sever sandy winds and less cost to adjust the irrigation network and much cheaper labor, much lower costs per hectare was achieved. Accordingly, the costs schedule would be $2903(investment costs), i. e. less than the current desert land reclamation costs in Egypt ($3000/ha)$1401 (variable costs)and 1588 (total costs of production).Under Kuwait conditions, the reached yield made a negative net farm income of 6.5% of the total costs of production. Under Egyptian condition, the same level of yield generated a positive gross margin of about 52% of the variable costs and a net farm income of 45% above the total costs of production. The ERR under Egyptian condition was 45% from investment in "Salicornia" production. Among several social benefits, such technology would introduce a much cheaper water resource. Under Kuwait condition costs was 1.2 cents/m3 of seawater, i.e. equivalent to 7% of the costs of brackish water production. Sheep-Hay Response Analysis showed that: At the current feed and livestock prices, to use salicornia hay is feasible up to 37% of the ration and the rest could be fulfilled from alfalfa hay. Cultivation of Salicornia at the wasted coastal area would save 1/3 of the berseem area in Egypt. This area could be devoted to produce 2000,000 tons of wheat. One hectare with livestock could provide sufficient livelihood for a family of five persons.
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- Schultz, Theodore W, 1980. "Nobel Lecture: The Economics of Being Poor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 639-651, August.
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