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Sustainable intensification pathways in Sub-Saharan Africa: Assessing eco-efficiency of smallholder perennial cash crop production

Heidenreich, Anja; Grovermann, Christian; Kadzere, Irene; Egyir, Irene S.; Muriuki, Anne; Bandanaa, Joseph; Clotty, Jospeh; Ndungu, John; Blockeel, Johan; Müller, Adrian; Stolze, Matthias and Schader, Christian (2022) Sustainable intensification pathways in Sub-Saharan Africa: Assessing eco-efficiency of smallholder perennial cash crop production. Agricultural Systems, 195, p. 103304.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308521X21002572


Summary

CONTEXT
Eco-efficiency offers a promising approach for the sustainable intensification of production systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is widely used for eco-efficiency analyses, is however sensitive to outliers and the analysis of the influence of external factors in the second stage requires the separability assumption to hold. Order-m estimators are proposed to overcome those disadvantages, but have been rarely applied in eco-efficiency analysis.
OBJECTIVE
This paper assesses the eco-efficiency of smallholder perennial cash crop production in Ghana and Kenya. It examines factors influencing eco-efficiency scores and in doing so, tests the application of order-m frontiers as a promising method for eco-efficiency analysis in the agricultural context.
METHODS
The analysis is performed for four selected perennial crop cases, namely cocoa, coffee, macadamia, and mango, applying DEA as well as the order-m approach to a comprehensive empirical dataset. Seven relevant environmental pressures as well as determining factors around capacity development, farm and farmer features, and crop production environment are considered.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
The distribution of eco-efficiency estimates among coffee farms showed the widest spread, which indicates the greatest potential to increase eco-efficiency. However, also the dispersion of scores within the other crop cases suggests room for improvements of eco-efficiency within the current production context. The subsequent analysis of determinants based on the order-m scores revealed that eco-efficiency scores were strongly influenced by variables, which measure capacity development, and resource endowments, such as labor and land, whereas the crop production environment had some influence, but results were unspecific. Generally, a positive effect is highly context-specific. The results underline the importance of designing effective training modalities and policies that allow knowledge to be put into practice, which involves the creation of marketing opportunities, the provision of targeted and regular advisory services, as well as region-wide measures to build and maintain soil fertility in a sustainable manner.
SIGNIFICANCE
To our knowledge, this study presents the first attempt to apply inputoriented order-m frontiers to assess eco-efficiency in the agricultural context, comparing its eco-efficiency rankings to those estimated with the widely applied DEA approach. This can inform the discussion on robust eco-efficiency assessments.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Data envelopment analysis (DEA), Order-m frontiers, Eco-efficiency, Cocoa, Coffee, Macadamia, Mango
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
cocoa (plant) -> Theobroma cacao
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_7713
English
coffee
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_1731
English
Macadamia
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_4490
English
mangoes
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_12367
English
perennials
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_5696
English
crop production
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_5976
English
Africa
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_165
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Africa
Research affiliation:Other countries
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International > Regions > Africa
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Agri-food policy
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Cocoa
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability
Kenya
DOI:10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103304
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:42775
Deposited On:10 Nov 2021 11:05
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 11:05
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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