Document Type: Original Article


Department of Agricultural biosystem Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran


This paper applied a non-parametric (Data Envelopment Analysis) method to analyze the efficiency of farmers, discriminate efficient farmers from inefficient ones and to identify wasteful uses of energy in order to optimize the energy inputs for greenhouse cucumber production in Lorestan province of Iran. Data were collected from 27 cucumber producers by using a face-to-face questionnaire.DEA creates a best-practice production frontier based on the growers that produce their level of greenhouse cucumber yield with the least amount of input energy. The results revealed that total operational energy of 521.37 GJ ha-1 is consumed in greenhouses. Most shares of this energy are allocated to fuel and chemicals by the shares of 56.66% and 12.19% respectively. Two basic DEA models, Constant Return to Scale (CRS) and Variable Return to Scale (VRS) were used to measure the technical efficiency (TE) of the greenhouses based on eight energy inputs and one output. The CRS and VRS models indicated that 10 and 19 greenhouses were efficient, respectively. The average values of TE, pure technical efficiency (PTE) and scale efficiency (SE) of greenhouses were found to be 0.89, 0.99 and 0.89 separately. Moreover, energy-saving target ratio (ESTR%) for greenhouse cucumber production was calculated as 26.85%, indicating that by following the recommendations resulted from this study,140 GJ ha-1 of total input energy could be saved while holding the constant level of greenhouse cucumber yield.


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