Merging Interest for Sustainability Agenda: Is There a Link between Sustainable Agriculture Practices and Farm Efficiency?

  •  Mahendra Reddy    


There is a global movement towards a sustainable agricultural system, given serious concerns for the food security of future generations. However, despite this push, adopting sustainable agriculture practices has been poor, given that their positive effect is not directly evident to the farmers. In countries like Fiji, where the majority of the land is leased, not undertaking sustainable agriculture practices can lead to a crisis of food insecurity and degraded low-quality land returning to the land owners and future generations. This study utilizes the latest Agriculture Census data from Fiji to construct a non-parametric production frontier from which to estimate the levels of efficiency of each farmer. These efficiency scores are then decomposed to farmers engaged in Sustainable Agriculture Practices vis-à-vis those not undertaking any Sustainable Agriculture Practice (SAP). The results from efficiency analysis provide efficiency and productivity scores for each farmer. Further decomposing it by SAPs reveals the marked difference in efficiency and productivity scores between farmers who undertake SAPs and those who do not. The results demonstrate that those farmers who undertake SAP have efficiency and productivity levels substantially higher than those who do not. To push the sustainable agriculture agenda amongst the farmers and landowners, policymakers must demonstrate to the farmers that undertaking SAPs will not only maintain the quality of the foundation input soil but will have a significant positive effect on their farm efficiency, productivity, and thus profitability. By doing so, the interests of all stakeholders are merged, making adopting sustainable agriculture practices easier on all farms.

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