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Assessing conventional and organic citrus farming systems eco-efficiency: a metafrontier directional distance function approach using Life Cycle Analysis

Mercedes Beltrán Esteve, Ernest Reig Martínez and Vicent Estruch Guitart
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Mercedes Beltrán Esteve: Department of Applied Economics II, Universitat de València
Ernest Reig Martínez: Department of Applied Economics II, Universitat de València
Vicent Estruch Guitart: Universitat Politècnica de València

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Ernest Reig-Martínez ()

No 1501, Working Papers from Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia

Abstract: In this paper, the eco‐efficiency of citrus farms operating under two different conventional and organic technological systems is analyzed. The methodology combines Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), to estimate the environmental impacts associated with the production process, and Data Envelopment Analysis(DEA) to estimate the position of each holding in relation to a frontier formed by the best farming practices. The use of the directional distance function concept allows us to calculate farms’eco‐efficiency scoring with respect to specific environmental impacts, and not only for the whole of them. The metafrontier concept is also used in order to compare the relative eco‐efficiency of each of the two cultivation technologies used. Our results show a wide superiority of the organic farming system in relation to the conventional. An eco‐efficient('green') organic technology represents, in relation to an eco‐efficient use of conventional citrus cultivation techniques, a potential reduction of environmental impacts by 80% without worsening economic performance. In contrast, when the performance of organic and conventional citrus farms is only analyzed in relation to best practices within each system, average eco-efficiency scores are similar for both types of farms.

Keywords: TFP; business cycle 1501 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C61 Q12 Q51 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-eff, nep-env and nep-res
Date: 2015-01
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