International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology (8 papers in press)
Top Plant Breeding Techniques for Improving Food Security:
An expert Delphi survey of the opportunities and challenges
by Rim Lassoued, Hayley Hesseln, Peter Phillips, Stuart Smyth
Abstract: Feeding the globes population, projected to exceed nine billion by 2050, is a serious challenge. The application of new breeding techniques (NBTs) offers substantial potential to meet rising global food demand through sustainable intensification of agriculture. Yet, the development of crops derived from these techniques will largely depend on their regulatory approval. Using a Delphi method, we asked an international panel of experts to identify the top biotechnologies for improving global food security. Results clearly indicate that gene editing, led by CRISPR/Cas9, will be key for future crop improvements and production. In light of the debate on the future regulation of NBTs, survey results offer concrete guidance to those in a position to influence the direction of research and development, and in particular to regulators.
Keywords: agricultural biotechnology; genetically modified organisms (GMO); gene editing; innovation; regulation; risk decision-making.
Barriers to Technology Adoption in Agriculture based Industry and its Integration into Technology Acceptance Model
by SNEHA KUMARI, Shrirsh Jeble, Yogesh Patil
Abstract: This paper attempts to develop a scale to overcome barriers to technology adoption. The study is unique, as it interlinks barriers of technology adoption with the Technology Acceptance Model. For the present study, the barriers to technology adoption were extracted from the literature, and a survey of 150 agriculture-based industries was conducted. An Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was carried out to develop the scale for barriers. The study carried out for the present paper helps to extend prior research works on grouping several barriers to technology adoption. The significant barriers to technology adoption that have been grouped are finance and economy, industrial policy and research, complexity, knowledge, government, and technical skills. The groups have further been interlinked with the Technology Acceptance Model. These groups thus help in the perceived usefulness and usage of technology. The study can be applied for developing a technology-based agriculture industry by working out some solutions for the barriers to technology adoption. The present paper can be useful for setting initiating establishing technology adoption in the industry.
Keywords: agriculture based industry; barriers to technology; interlinking; technology adoption; technology acceptance model.
Modelling strategies for the reduction of fat dormice in northern Italian hazel groves.
by Giovanni Scire'
Abstract: The production of hazelnuts represents an important resource for several Italian rural areas. Sicily and Piedmont, two of the most important producers of hazelnuts, are affected by the presence of the dormouse (Glis glis), that has considerably severely harmed the production of hazelnuts. This study aims to analyse the issue in the Province of Cuneo in Piedmont and to evaluate the sustainability of the policies implemented by using the System Dynamics (SD) methodology. An SD predator-prey microworld was built to reproduce the main relevant cause and effect relationships between the development of the dormouse population and local hazelnut production. The results of the SD microworld simulation show the effects of reduction policies on hazelnut production over time. The findings and further research recommendations are briefly reported in the conclusion section.
Keywords: MODEL FOREST; SYSTEMS ANALYSIS; SYSTEMS DYNAMICS; FAT DORMOUSE; EDIBLE DORMOUSE; HAZELNUTS; DYNAMIC SUSTAINABILITY; AGRICULTURE; PREDATOR-PREY MICROWORLD; DYNAMIC MODEL; STOCK AND FLOW DIAGRAMS; CASUAL LOOP DIAGRAMS.
Sustainability Assessment of the Agri-environmental Practices in Greece. Indicators' Comparative Study
by Ioannis Vardopoulos, Sotirios Falireas, Ioannis Konstantopoulos, Elli Kaliora, Eleni Theodoropoulou
Abstract: This research attempts to study whether the Common Agricultural Policy is targeted enough and actually integrates the initial environmental concerns, aiming in understanding of the effectiveness of the policy in Greece. Through the development and calculation of several agri-environmental sustainability indicators, following the Driving Force - Pressure - State - Impact - Response (DPSIR) model, the authors evaluate the environmental performance of Greek agriculture in comparison with Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, under the Common Agricultural Policy scheme. Results indicate that Greek agricultural production should follow the agricultural practices and environmental controls more closely, in order to increase agricultures environmental performance rate and reach sustainability.
Keywords: common agricultural policy; indicator; sustainable development.
THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL CREDIT IN AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY: DYNAMIC CAUSALITY
by FESTUS VICTOR BEKUN, Abubakar Hassan, Olawumi Abeni Osundina
Abstract: Lack of access to agricultural credit has been identified as one of the key bottlenecks inhibiting increased and sustained agricultural output. It is on this premise that the current study empirically investigates the impact of agricultural credit on agricultural development in Nigeria from 1981 to 2016 using annual time series data. Two traditional unit root tests, including Augmented Dickey-Fuller (ADF) and Phillips Perron (PP) tests, were employed together with another alternative unit root test by Kwiatkowski et al. (1992) to complement the ADF and PP unit root tests. According to the Engle-Granger and Phillip-Ouliaris cointegration tests, there exists a long-run relationship between agricultural credit and agricultural development over the sampled period. The long-run regression of canonical cointegration regression (CCR), dynamic ordinary least square (DOLS) and fully modified ordinary least square (FMOLS) techniques suggest a positive and statistically significant relationship between agriculture development and agricultural credit. To detect the direction of causality, this study applied the Toda-Yamamoto (1995) causality test, and the results reveals unidirectional causality running from agricultural credit to agricultural development. Thus, findings from this study validate that the agricultural credit induced agricultural development in Nigeria. On this basis, it is recommended that more efforts should be made in timely provision of credit and loan facilities to local farmers and all key players in the agricultural value chain for the desired increase called for in Nigeria.
Keywords: Agricultural sustainability; Credit; Dynamic Causality; Nigeria.
Food Security Performance Assessment of the U.S. States: A DEA-Based Malmquist Productivity Index Approach
by Gokhan Eglimez, Shannon Stewart
Abstract: The national trend in food security has been declining and a state-by-state analysis considering social and macro-economic characteristics of the holistic food security assessment problem has not been addressed in the literature or organizational reports. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of socioeconomic input parameters on maximizing the food security and evaluate the relative efficiency trend in food security performance of the U.S. states over a 13-year study period. To do so, eight socioeconomic input categories and the single output, food security rate, were aggregated into a single food security performance with the proposed DEA-based Malmquist Index approach. The period between 2003 and 2015 was determined as the study period based on the availability of most recent data. Results indicated an overall negative pure efficiency growth, while there is a positive technological change. Majority of the U.S. states social and macro-economic parameters have been improving during the study period, whereas effective policy making towards zeroing food insecurity is still a big question mark. Gas price, educational attainment, and home ownership rates were found to be the most sensitive socio-economic parameters to the food security performance of the U.S. states, while all of the eight input parameters were found to be statistically related to the food security.
Keywords: Food security; socio-economic impact; data envelopment analysis; Malmquist Index; Efficiency.
Assessment of ammonium hydroxide effect on Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826): acute toxicity and avoidance tests
by Nadia ZEGUERROU, Rachid ADJROUDI, Abdelkrim SI BACHIR, Mohamed EL HADEF EL OKKI
Abstract: In this study, acute toxicity and avoidance tests were conducted to assess the effect of ammonium hydroxide AH on the Brandling worm Eisenia fetida (Annelida: lumbricidae). Adults earthworms were exposed to an increasing concentration of AH (0.0001; 0.001; 0.01; 0.1; 1 and 10 mg.cm-2) for contact filter paper test and (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1 and 5 mg.g1 of soil) for soil and avoidance tests. Our results show that AH caused a high mortality rate and a decrease in biomass according to the increase of concentrations and exposure time, causing some physiological symptoms (bleeding and burns) and behavioural responses. The LC50 calculated for contact filter paper test after 48h was 1.01 mg.cm-2 and 1.05 mg.g-1 for soil test after 14th days. Moreover, the EC50 obtained in avoidance test was 0.05 mg.g-1; this means that the earthworms were able to immediately detect low concentration of AH in soils, avoiding it.
Keywords: Ammonium Hydroxide; Eisenia fetida; acute toxicity; avoidance; mortality; biomass.
Motivations for Sustaining Urban Farming Participation
by Noriah Othman
Abstract: Farming in urban areas is recognized as a sustainable approach towards the provision of food and has increased in Malaysia over recent years. Nonetheless, sustaining the peoples participation in urban farming is challenging. Knowing the participants motivations for urban farming can help address this challenge. Despite numerous researches in the past on the types of motivations for urban farming participation, only a few of those researches have been on the motivations of urban farming participants in Malaysia. This paper reports on a research about the motivational factors (physical and mental health, environmental, social and economic factors) for urban farming participation in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. A questionnaire survey was conducted, of which the respondents comprised 243 practitioners of urban farming in Selangor. The results revealed that physical and mental health and the environment were the motivations with the highest scores among urban farming practitioners. There were significant differences (p<0.05) in the mean scores for the motivation factors of health, social, the economy and environment in terms of the age, gender and race of the respondents. Further investigations are warranted to understand the influences of age, gender and race on urban farming motivations and to help sustain urban farming programmes.
Keywords: Urban farming; Sustaining participation; Motivations.