Title: Assessing the efficiency of cotton farms considering qualitative factors under a DEA TOPSIS model
Authors: Leonidas Sotirios Kyrgiakos; George Vlontzos; Panos M. Pardalos
Addresses: Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytoko, 38446 Volos, Greece ' Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytoko, 38446 Volos, Greece ' Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Florida, 401 Weil Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-6595, USA
Abstract: In this study, input use efficiency of cotton growers has been assessed with a view to minimise exploitation of natural resources and promote incorporation of qualitative attributes in data envelopment analysis (DEA). Consequently, a three-part questionnaire has been created, containing: 1) demographics; 2) used inputs (land, seeds, agrochemicals, energy, irrigation and labour); 3) extracted outputs (production, revenue). TOPSIS model has been used so as to transform categorical variables of demographics (education and experience), as an input to the following DEA for benchmarking the input use efficiency. Out of 107 examined cotton farms 42 (39.3%) of them are operating efficiently, while the average obtained score is 0.915, meaning that changes should be implemented for ameliorating their performance. Apart from providing quantitative targets for cotton farmers, this paper seeks to address the DEA-TOPSIS combination as a useful tool for efficiency assessment contributing to a holistic sustainability evaluation.
Keywords: data envelopment analysis; DEA; TOPSIS; qualitative data; cotton; sustainability.
International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, 2021 Vol.7 No.4, pp.343 - 359
Received: 29 Apr 2021
Accepted: 19 Aug 2021
Published online: 07 Apr 2022 *