The productive efficiency of organic farming: the case of grape sector in Catalonia
AbstractKnowledge about productivity and efficiency differences between conventional and organic farms has important implications for the evaluation of the economic viability of these two agricultural practices. The main purpose of this study was to compare the efficiency ratings of organic and conventional grape farms in Catalonia. To do so, we fit a stochastic production frontier to cross sectional, farm-level data collected from a sample of 141 Catalan farms that specialize in grape growing. Results show that organic farmers, on average, are more efficient than their conventional counterparts (efficiency ratings are on the order of 0.80 and 0.64, respectively). Apart from adoption of organic practices, experience is also found to improve technical efficiency. Conversely, technical efficiency tends to decrease with the relevance of unpaid family labor, farm location in less favored areas, and farmers’ strong environmental preservation preferences.
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