Optimal Farm Planning and Assessment of Conventional Agricultural Practices under Alternative Scenarios Integrating Life Cycle Analysis
No 4/2022, December
Tziolas, E., Ofridopoulou, K., Bournaris, T. and Manos, B. (2022) "Optimal Farm Planning and Assessment of Conventional Agricultural Practices under Alternative Scenarios Integrating Life Cycle Analysis", AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 121-135. ISSN 1804-1930. DOI 10.7160/aol.2022.140410.
Agricultural production and farm management are inextricable, since managerial aspects for safe and of high-quality food products have led to the development of successful production plans but multifaceted controversies as well. These controversies arise from the focus of policymakers, especially in the EU, to the environmental aspects of agricultural production, creating conflicting objectives for farmers. Energy from biomass derivatives could play a significant role in the dispute for economic and environmental sustainability in agriculture, along with the formulation of agro-energy districts. In this context, an MCDM model was developed integrating LCA data for the assessment of economic, environmental and energy sustainability regarding thirteen major crops in the Region of Central Macedonia in Greece. The model's objectives consist of maximization of farmers' gross income, minimization of emissions coming from farming practices and maximization of energy potentially coming from biomass. Furthermore, three different scenario-based directions allocate different weights to the respective objectives, creating different managerial strategies. The optimal production plan was the scenario in which the weights were allocated by goal programming. The optimal plan proposes the cultivation expansion of energy crops, tree crops, alfalfa and hard wheat to a higher degree. Moreover, a significant reduction to the cultivated areas of tobacco, rice, barley and soft wheat could lead to a potentially viable production plan.
Farm management, multi-criteria analysis, life cycle assessment, mathematical programming.
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