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The regional and national economic effects of sustainable intensification: A case of dairy farms in Wales and England

Rafique, Annum 2018. The regional and national economic effects of sustainable intensification: A case of dairy farms in Wales and England. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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With the growing world's population, the demand for food is increasing. With an increase in demand, the supply of food should rise as well. However, increasing the production of food has consequences especially through the emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHG). The underlying theme of this study is the sustainable intensification (SI) in the dairy sector which aims to increase milk production while reducing the environmental impact. This thesis aims to examine four research questions: Firstly, we want to assess if the intensification of dairy farms can reduce GHG emissions. Secondly, we want to determine if the intensity of the dairy farms improve their efficiency. Thirdly, we want to examine factors like location and other non-controllable variables that may influence the efficiency of the farms. Lastly, we want to see if there is a convergence in cost efficiency. Data Envelopment Analysis is employed to measure efficiency. An undesirable output DEA is used to measure the technical efficiency of the dairy farms to examine increase in outputs such as milk and income while reducing output like GHG emissions. The results suggested that the dairy farms could potentially, on an average, increase their outputs by 4.2% to 8% while using the same level of inputs. A two-stage approach is adopted to assess the factors that may influence the efficiency of dairy farms. In the first stage efficiency of dairy farms is evaluated and in the second stage Tobit Regression is employed to determine the factors that may influence efficiency. We found that age and land cost negatively while intensity, loans, tenure and the location of farms positively influenced efficiency. Finally, the convergence in cost efficiency is examined by borrowing from the growth literature. We saw evidence of convergence in cost efficiency implying that there is an improvement in cost efficiency in the dairy industry. The results of this study suggest that the intensification of dairy farming through increasing stocking intensity can potentially reduce the GHG emissions per unit of milk and increase the efficiency of farms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Uncontrolled Keywords: DEA; Economic Efficiency; Dairy Farms; Sustainable Intensification; GHG Emissions; Wales; England; Farm Business Survey; Clustering; Tobit Regression; Convergence.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2019
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 16:04

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