No 2/2013, June
ICT and Mobile Phone Use for Agricultural Knowledge Sharing by Cypriot Farmers
The aim of this paper is to reveal the current situation regarding the use of mobile phones as a mean of information sharing by Cypriot farmers. In particular, a project at the Agricultural Research Institute is underway, to survey methods currently used for agricultural information and knowledge sharing, to determine the level of satisfaction of the farmers of the available sources of information, and to suggest how ICT tools can be applied to help in transferring agricultural knowledge to farmers who live and work in rural and remote areas. The results showed that nearly 98% of the farmers in Cyprus use the mobile phone as a source of agriculture information. Furthermore it was found that there are no differences between educational groups and between crop farmers and their livestock counterparts concerning mobile phone usage. Future research is needed to examine the factors that affect mobile phone usage, its usefulness and the possible benefits for the Cypriot farmers.
Rural areas, mobile telephone, ICT, agriculture, information sharing.
Towards Validating Moringa’s Nutraceutical Benefits: An Examination of Consumers’ Perspectives vis-à-vis Health Benefits Efficacy and Willingness to Pay
This study examined the validity of claimed Nutraceutical benefits of Moringa oleifera products through the lens of consumers’ perceptions and Willingness to Pay (WTP) for perceived benefits. Data were randomly collected from 120 sampled Moringa consumers. Results indicate that knowledge of Moringa oleifera’s benefits is high among respondents and Moringa is consumed for various preventive and curative purposes. On the average, respondents were willing to pay about 5% over and above the current price of Moringa product so as to have access to perceived product’s Nutraceutical benefits. WTP was found to be significantly influenced by perception of efficacy of product’s benefits (p = 0.01), education (p = 0.02) and occupation of respondents (p = 0.03). The study emphasizes the need for further clinical and pharmacological double- blind placebo test trials to ascertain the acclaimed therapeutic benefits of the product.
Nutraceutical benefits, willingness to pay, double-blind placebo clinical trials.
Capital Structure of Agricultural Businesses and its Determinants
The article deals with the analysis of the capital structure of agricultural businesses of legal entities and its determinants. It discusses the effect of selected determinants on the capital structure of businesses, expressed by way of three categories of indebtedness. The analysis of the determinants of capital structure is conducted by way of multiple linear regression. Also being verified is the hypothesis of whether the effect of individual determinants of capital structure is in accordance with the theoretical assumptions of conditional theories of capital structure and empirical studies.
The panel data for the article were acquired from the Albertina database, provided by the company Soliditet, s.r.o. Specifically, the data used were those from accounting statements for the years 2004 – 2010 for the agricultural businesses of legal entities. In total, the object of examination was 16075 businesses, which were divided up according to legal forms (joint stock company, cooperative, and limited liability company) and subsequently the relevant size group. In total, 18 groups of businesses were created, whereby the average balance and profit and loss account were drawn up for each group, on the basis of which the relevant calculations were conducted. The article is a part of the grant project IGA 20121069 “Identification of the main determinants of the result of economic activity of agricultural businesses of legal entities and the determination of their specifics” and of the institutional research intentions MSM 6046070906 „Economics sources of Czech agriculture and their efficient use in the context of multifunctional agri-food systems“.
Capital structure, determinants of capital structure, agricultural businesses, multiple linear regression, theories of capital structure.
Operations Research in Agriculture: Better Decisions for a Scarce and Uncertain World
Operations Research / Management Science (OR/MS) can be described as the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help making better decisions and has been around in the agricultural and forestry management sectors since the fifties, approaching decision problems that range from more strategic sector- level planning to farm operation issues and integrated supply chain management. In this paper insights are given on the use of OR/MS in agriculture, illustrating them with cases drawn from the literature on this topic while keeping the descriptions accessible to uninitiated readers.
The presence of OR/MS in Agriculture and Forest Management applications is already extensive but the potential for development is huge in times where resources are becoming increasingly scarce and more has to be done with less, in a sustainable way.
Agriculture, Forest Management, Operations Research, Management Science, Decision Support Systems.
Economic Evaluation of Intensive Growing of Selected Crops
The submitted paper on the topic: “Economic Evaluation of Intensive Growing of Selected Crops” deals with an economic evaluation of growing of selected crops – winter oilseed rape, winter wheat, and sugar beet in Agro Žlunice a.s. where intensive growing technologies are used. Reached results are compared with results in the framework of the Czech Republic which represent average values for the mentioned crops. Agro Žlutice a.s. is situated in sugar beet production area in district Jičín and it farms on 1902 ha of agricultural land of which 1742 ha is arable land. A decisive subject of business here is plant production, animal production, and fruit growing. In the paper, an intensity and economics of growing of winter oilseed rape, winter wheat, and sugar beet in 2010, 2011 and 2012 is evaluated. Winter oilseed rape from a market view-point is an important crop for the chosen enterprise and Czech agriculture. In suitable growing it significantly contributes to a positive economic result. In winter wheat growing, from a view-point of competitiveness, it is important to reduce technological inputs which does not lead to decrease in yield and has provable economic benefit in evaluation of costs per a production unit. A favourable economics of growing of this crop is reached both in the intensive growing technology in the given enterprise, and within average growing conditions. A basic presumption whether to grow sugar beet is a possibility of the enterprise to supply this raw-material for processing either for sugar or bio-ethanol production. This crop in the mentioned enterprise and in the nationwide framework shows a favourable profitability. The reached growing and economic results of the enterprise Agro Žlunice a.s. in use of intensive growing technologies are more favourable in comparison with average results over the whole sector of agriculture.
Pieces of knowledge introduced in this paper resulted from solution of an institutional research intention MSM 6046070906 „Economics of resources of Czech agriculture and their efficient use in frame of multifunctional agri-food systems.
Winter oilseed rape, winter wheat, sugar bet, yield per hectare, direct cost, realization price, revenues, operational profit, profitability.
Modelling the Efficiency of Agri-Environmental Payments to Czech Agriculture in a CGE Framework Incorporating Public Goods Approach
Capturing agricultural multifunctionality has been a challenge to agricultural economists for more than a decade. On one hand, researchers increasingly include the provision of environmental protection and landscape maintenance in their commodity based models; on the other hand, there are efforts as contingent valuation to assess the economic value of environmental benefits provided by agriculture. This paper tries to merge both research streams by incorporating supply and demand of landscape as a public good in a CGE framework. The former is done by including an explicit sector of joint commodity and non-commodity production in the model structure; the latter by extending the household demand system of willingness to pay for landscape. The approach is tested on four scenarios which are extensively compared.
Research presented in this paper is the result of a research grant MSM 6046070906 “Economics of Czech agricultural resources and their efficient usage within the framework of multifunctional agri-food systems” and a Research Task of UZEI conducted for the Ministry of Agriculture TÚ 4241/2011”.
Environmental public goods, landscape provision, agri-environmental policy, CGE models.
World Sugar Market – Basic Development Trends and Tendencies
This article is devoted to the issues of the world‘s sugar production and cultivation of sugar crops (sugar beet and sugar cane). It also analyzes the development of the global sugar trade. The main aim of this paper is to define the basic developmental trends and tendencies that affect the current situation on the market for sugar and sugar crops and then outline a process of gradual profiling of the world markets for these commodities. The article identifies the most important players operating in the global market, both in terms of production and in terms of trade. It also identifies not only the most important subjects of the global market from the viewpoint of the realized volume of production and trade, but also in terms of available comparative advantages and growth dynamics of the realized volume of production and trade. Finally, the paper highlights the significant differences existing in unit prices of the realized export and import flows in individual countries and regions. The results of this study show clearly that the world sugar market is extremely concentrated. A narrow group of entities localized mainly in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America controls most of the world production of sugar beet and sugar cane. Furthermore, the results of the analysis show that the production and export of sugar are logically closely linked with the regions cultivating sugar crops, which again suggests that a limited number of entities controls most of the global sugar market. Currently, this market is dominated mainly by Latin American countries and Southeast Asia together with Europe.
Sugar, sugar crops, sugar beet, sugar cane, production, trade, regions, countries, competitiveness, price, development, trend.
The Competitive Environment in the Dairy Industry and its Impact on the Food Industry
The aim of the paper is to present in-depth view on the competitive environment of the Czech dairy industry. The financial statement analysis evaluates the financial performance of the dairy industry in the period 2007 - 2011. The sample of 38 dairy processors represents leading market players. The basic method for industry analysis is Porter five forces analysis. The paper also comprises brief analysis of technical efficiency of the dairy industry. The economic recession affected the financial performance of the Czech dairy industry in 2008. It was showed by unfavourable input-output price relations. Simultaneously, the economic downturn made consumers to switch from branded dairy products to cheaper private labels, as the analysis proved. The competitive environment within the Czech dairy industry is slightly concentrated with greatly heightened competitive relations. The vertical business relationships within dairy supply chain can be considered as the weakness of the Czech dairy industry.
Dairy industry, competitive environment, financial performance, supply chain.
Optimization of Irrigation Spray Distribution in the Term of its Uniformity
The production process of agricultural and livestock production is affected by climatic conditions, mostly including the amount and quality of rainfall. In High Tatras region is annual atmospheric rainfall between 500 and 2000 mm. During vegetation period the rainfall on the most agriculturally significant areas is even less and its value is between 300 and 250 mm. This amount is insufficient for the most of economic significant plants. From this point of view, the artificial irrigation represents one of the most important factors that improve the agricultural production.
Considering stochastic effects like wind or technical parameters of irrigation machines, slope of terrain, the distribution of spray is not equal over the whole irrigated area. For economic benefits in the process of irrigation and supplying water to the irrigation machines, this spray non-uniformity must attain smallest possible value. This can be achieved by proper mathematical modeling of economic and technological processes, the irrigation process includes.
Irrigation uniformity, overlaps, simulation model, sprinkler.
Factors Affecting Loan Repayment Performance Among Yam Farmers in the Sene District, Ghana
The study analyzed the factors that are critical in improving loan repayment by yam farmers in the Sene district of Ghana. Random sampling technique was used to select 100 respondents in the district and structured questionnaire was administered to collect data. Descriptive statistics and the probit model were employed. The results show that 42% of yam farmers in Sene district are illiterates. More males (93%) are involved in yam farming than females (7%) and most of the farmers are married (91%). Also most of the yam farmers in the district have a family size of 6-10 households (66%) and 54% of them have 1-10 years of yam farming experience. Also, the results show that education, experience, profit, age, supervision and off-farm income have positive effects on loan repayment performance. Conversely, gender and marriage have negative effects on loan repayment while the effect of household size was found to be ambiguous.
Yam farmers, Loan repayment, Probit model.