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Organic and Conventional Farming: a Comparison Analysis through the Italian FADN

  • Cisilino, Federica
  • Madau, Fabio A.

This paper shows some results arisen from a wider research on economic and environmental sustainability of organic farming. It focuses on organic and conventional farming comparison through an investigation of Italian FADN data. In order to identify some of the main differences between organic and conventional farms a “distance analysis” has been carried out. The study aims to highlight some of the main characteristics of those two groups of farms to better address differences (if any) in production technology, costs and revenues. Furthermore it shows the findings of a non-parametric efficiency analysis on the Italian olive-growing farms. The purpose is to estimate difference in efficiency and productivity between organic and conventional olive producers. Results reveal that looking at the average values on Invested Areas, conventional farms’ Gross Production is significantly higher than the organic ones, as the Net Margin, as the Net Product and Costs. The average values on Total Labour Force instead, shown that, even if conventional farms still have higher values than organic ones, the “distance” become shorter. That means that the two groups are quite similar and that, even if organic farms still produce a lower “economic value”, they better compensate productive factors, especially in terms of Labour Force. Regards to efficiency analysis, we found that organic olive-growing farms are more able in using their disposable resources (with reference to their own frontier), and the higher efficiency permits them to compensate the lower productivity with respect to the conventional farms.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 21786.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:21786
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  1. Greene, William H., 1980. "On the estimation of a flexible frontier production model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 101-115, May.
  2. Atkinson, Scott E & Cornwell, Christopher, 1994. "Estimation of Output and Input Technical Efficiency Using a Flexible Form and Panel Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 245-55, February.
  3. Forsund, Finn R. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1980. "A survey of frontier production functions and of their relationship to efficiency measurement," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 5-25, May.
  4. Tzouvelekas, Vangelis & Pantzios, Christos J. & Fotopoulos, Christos, 2001. "Technical efficiency of alternative farming systems: the case of Greek organic and conventional olive-growing farms," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 549-569, December.
  5. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Thrall, Robert M., 1990. "Recent developments in DEA : The mathematical programming approach to frontier analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 7-38.
  6. Fare, Rolf & Knox Lovell, C. A., 1978. "Measuring the technical efficiency of production," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 150-162, October.
  7. Tzouvelekas, Vangelis & Pantzios, Christos J. & Fotopoulos, Christos, 2002. "Empirical Evidence of Technical Efficiency Levels in Greek Organic and Conventional Farms," Agricultural Economics Review, Greek Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 3(2), August.
  8. Tzouvelekas, Vangelis & Pantzios, Christos J. & Fotopoulos, Christos, 2001. "Economic Efficiency In Organic Farming: Evidence From Cotton Farms In Viotia, Greece," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(01), April.
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