Tag: sustainable agriculture

How improving the technical efficiency of Moroccan saffron farms can contribute to sustainable agriculture in the Anti-Atlas region

The saffron sector as a sustainable farming system plays a primordial agro-ecological and socio-economic role in the Anti-Atlas region in Morocco. Under the Green Morocco Policy, the saffron area has more than tripled; however, productivity is still very low. To evaluate the efficiency of Moroccan saffron farming and its determinants, we estimated a stochastic frontier model using survey data collected in the production area. The results show that saffron farms suffer from technical inefficiencies. More time dedicated to saffron field operations, a higher number of saffron plots and a greater distance to the urban centre increase farm efficiency, while the age of the farmer and the presence of off-farm activities decrease it. Building on our results, we argue that the new policy “Generation Green” should be focused on younger farmers as they are more likely to improve their skills and crop management techniques. To upscale the adoption of saffron as a sustainable farming system, an improvement in farmers’ market access is necessary which would facilitate farm specialisation, convert saffron to a majorsource of income and reduce dependence on off-farm activities. Strengthening the role of saffron cooperatives could represent an important step in this direction, but this requires improved knowledge dissemination ...

Economics of Zero Budget Natural Farming in Purulia District of West Bengal: Is It Economically Viable?

In the light of the growing concerns about the sustainability of the current input-intensive agriculture system, the need for an alternative farming system has arisen. Among the various alternative farming models practised across the world, Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) has recently come into the spotlight. This paper envisages the economic viability of ZBNF in a local setting. In the empirical survey, the study considers one cluster of farmers practicing ZBNF in Purulia district of West Bengal, India. Empirical evidence presented in this paper is based on the performance of this alternative model of farming in respect of three important parameters, namely cost of cultivation, yield and income. Evidence reveals that the natural farmers have experienced a reduction in per hectare production cost and per hectare yield for their crops in the post-conversion period. More importantly, farmers adopting the ZBNF model (i.e. treatment group) in Purulia were able to enhance their income, compared to their chemical counterparts (i.e. control group). Moreover, an in–depth analysis of performance has been carried out, thereby identifying the factors influencing the long-term sustainability of ZBNF. Results indicate that the long term sustainability of this model of farming is contingent upon the interplay of agro-climatic conditions ...

Old institutions, new challenges: the agricultural knowledge system in Hungary

This paper explores and analyses the Hungarian institutional system for the creation and the transfer of knowledge in the field of agriculture and rural development. We consider the constitution and operation of the Agricultural Knowledge System (AKS) in Hungary, focussing on the formally organised aspects, and suggest that both the structure and content of the knowledge needed in the sector have significantly changed during the past decades. These changes, especially in relation to the sustainability of agriculture, pose significant challenges to traditional AKS institutions, which often have failed to change in line with the new requirements. Based on a literature review, interviews and a national stakeholder workshop, we offer an analysis of Hungarian AKS institutions, their co-ordination, co-operation and communication with each other and with Hungarian rurality, and of the arising issues and problems concerning the creation and the flow of knowledge needed for sustainable agriculture. We also briefly explore characteristics of emerging bottom-up structures, called LINSAS (learning and innovation networks for sustainable agriculture), and explore the significance of the findings in this article for the study of AKS in Europe. This article is based on preliminary results of the SOLINSA research project, supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework ...

Social innovation and sustainability; how to disentangle the buzzword and its application in the field of agriculture and rural development

Social innovation is often appointed as an essential part of agricultural and rural innovation. Everybody seems to agree that social innovation is important but what exactly is meant by the term remains often unclear. This paper aims at clarifying the meaning and significance of the concept by going back to its root in innovation science and policy. It appoints three main interpretations of social innovation, referring to the social mechanism of innovation, the social responsibility of innovation and the need for innovating society. Studying its application in the field of agriculture and rural development reveals that social innovation is rarely referred to when agriculture as a singular economic activity is concerned, but prominently present in discussions about rural development. Here social innovation may be referred to when identifying society’s need for more sustainable production methods, the necessity for collaboration and social learning, and the scope of change needed for revitalising (rural) society. Often, however, social innovation is presented as a tangle of interdependent processes and beneficial outcomes. Its fuzziness contributes to its discursive power in discussions about agricultural politics and the significance of sustainability, but also hides the valued-loadedness of social innovation. As a result its critical potential becomes neutralised. ...

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  • Scopus SJR (2023): 0.29
  • Scopus CiteScore (2022): 2.0
  • WoS Journal Impact Factor (2022): 1.2
  • WoS Journal Citation Indicator (2022): 0.45
  • ISSN (electronic): 2063-0476
  • ISSN-L 1418-2106



Publisher Name: Institute of Agricultural Economics Nonprofit Kft. (AKI)

Publisher Headquarters: Zsil utca 3-5, 1093-Budapest, Hungary

Name of Responsible Person for Publishing:        Dr. Pal Goda

Name of Responsible Person for Editing:             Dr. Attila Jambor

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The publication cost of the journal is supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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