International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics (14 papers in press)
Optimization of a Food Waste Composting Process with a Sawdust
by Alžbeta Maxianová, Magdalena Daria Vaverková
Abstract: The paper is focused on food waste disposal by the form of composting. Food waste represents a big global problem. According to a Life Cycle Assessment study, composting is one of the best methods for organic waste disposal. Food waste composting is not simple and to reach its optimum, various additives are supplied to the process in order to enhance resulting compost parameters. In our research, we used sawdust as additive. Since sawdust is used not often as an additive in the process of composting, we can speak of novel approach. This research was specifically aimed to compare food waste composting with and without using sawdust. We chose leftovers such as potatoes, rice and vegetables. These composting ingredients were mixed and put in an electric composter. The sawdust was added at ratios of 40% of the total weight. The composting process lasted 28 days. After this period of 28 days, the final tests were conducted for physical-chemical and biological properties of the composts. Temperature, pH and electrical conductivity were monitored as ones of the most important parameters for the final compost quality. Biological properties were determined by using the test of phytotoxicity. Test results revealed that unlike the compost with the addition of sawdust, the compost without sawdust was phytotoxic to plants. It is recommended that sawdust proportion is 40 % because the compost with such an amount of sawdust as additive exhibited more favourable parameters.
Keywords: biodegradable waste; compost; compost parameters; phytotoxicity; seed germination; electric composter; in-vessel composting.
Green House Method of Production Significance and Sustainable Development Criteria
by Sedigheh Asghari Baighout, Sandeep Kumar Gupta, Serdar Vural UYGUN
Abstract: Saffron, recognised as the most expensive spices in the world. In Iran, saffron is one of the main water treatment, employment. Saffron is one of the most export products of non-petroleum segment that given its production and processing processes can give a significant amount of Income for the country. To increase the production and export of this product by modern methods should replace traditional methods in different production areas Saffron So that the production for higher quantity. Therefore, in the present research, for the first time, we are going to compare two of these methods (Indigenous and modern methods) in saffron production in sustainable development parameters. This research data hs applied in aa comparative way, in term of time Cross-sectional about Saffron production in the year 2016 2017. The number of greenhouse farmers in this city was surveyed by census method to determine the sample size of farmers who cultivate saffron by the modern (greenhouse) method and determine the sample size of farmers growing the traditional (Indigenous) method use of the Cochran formula the sample size was 101 for this group t should also be noted that in the research. The required information (data) and statistics were drawn through questionnaire design for research purpose and referral to the farmers of the region. As per research objective, a suitable method has used to rank the two production methods with the Sustainable Development Index (the Topsis method). The results of the Topsis Technique show that the traditional method for social indicators of sustainable development is more appropriate than the greenhouse method. The results of the Topsis technique show that the conventional approach is more suitable for sustainable development and environmental protection.
Keywords: Saffron; Topsis Technique; Sustainable Development Indicator.
Exploring the Adoption of Conservational Agriculture Practices: A Phenomenological Inquiry
by Naeem Hayat, Abdullah Al Mamun, Noorul Azwin Md Nasir, Noorshella Che Nawi
Abstract: Environmental concerns had ignited the discussion to change traditional agriculture practices and adopt pro-environmental agriculture practices. This study attempted to investigate the role of the selected factors on the adoption of conservational agriculture practices (CAPs) among the rice farmers in Pakistan. This study employed the phenomenological method to collect opinion from 27 rice farmers using face-to-face interviews. The analysis revealed that farmers exposures and personal orientations could explain the adoption or non-adoption of CAPs. There were efforts to enhance the adoption of CAPs by the global and local institutions. This phenomenological enquiry enhances the understanding of the role of different factors in CAPs for rice farming. Policy and social influence are required to change the farmers traditional cultivation practices. The policy needs to address the local knowledge and use it to change the farmers behaviour to improve the adoption of CAPs. This study contributed to the adoption literature in general and specifically for the conservational agriculture adoption in developing countries. This study also reported study limitations and recommendations for future studies.
Keywords: Conservation Agriculture Practices; Intention; Adoption; Phenomenology; UTAUT.
Agricultural sustainability assessment using multicriteria indicators and Hierarchical tools A Review
by Joana Neto, Mário Cunha
Abstract: Europe's 2020 Strategy considers sustainable management as an increasingly important criterion for the several normative and incentives recently legislated. It's expectable that in short-term, political decision-makers and farmers will need to evaluate the type and degree of their activities' impact on the environment, economy, and society. For this reason, tools are required to ease and translate these evaluations, capable of defining the main imbalance factors that need action. Despite a wide range of Sustainability assessment tools available in the literature, the underlying methodologies are very similar and resort to indicators aggregated in hierarchical evaluation models that should be representative and adaptive for putative transferability. This paper provides an overview of the most relevant computational sustainability evaluation tools and their scope of application, in a benchmarking analysis. To ease the comprehension of these tools, a literature review was performed to analyze their structural elements and based-on methodologies.
Keywords: sustainability assessment; indicators; hierarchical models; computational tools; environmental criteria; environmental performance; agricultural practices; agricultural management; sustainability theoretical frameworks.
An innovative artificial intelligence approach for disease classification in plants
by Nitin Vamsi Dantu, Shriram K. Vasudevan, K. Vimalkumar
Abstract: The farmers are facing a lot of challenges and one of the main problems they face is because of plant diseases. The energy to the disease fungi is taken from the plants which they live on. They are responsible for the huge damage and the damages are classified into wilting, rusts, blotches, scabs, mouldy coatings, and rotted tissue. Most of the farmers are being affected with huge losses as they do not find the right solution for a certain disease that their crops have. The primary goal of this research is to find the common diseases in the plants and suggest the optimal solution that helps in reducing the fault rate of crops and in turn, it increases the crop yield. This would lower the crop damage drastically and the consumers can purchase better quality products. We propose to use deep learning techniques to identify diseases in crops in real-time, the same can be made as a mobile app that could help farmers or anyone to detect the diseases for the plants. The system is found to be functionally very stable and works under all ideal conditions.
Keywords: plant diseases; image processing; convolution neural network; CNN; classification; technology for agriculture; deep learning.
Drylands rainwater harvesting: A community-based management approach
by Mohammad Alhamad, Mohammad Alrababah, Samah Jaradat, Anne Ghraibeh, Shorna Allredd
Abstract: Jordan is suffering from a severe shortage of water resources. This study was conducted to explore the feasibility and need to build a community-based management plan of water resources in the dry regions of northeastern Jordan. This studys objectives were to identify issues concerning natural resource use and explore and identify management options for natural resources from the local communitys perspective. The research methodology is based on an integrated application of field interviews with individuals, focus groups with the local community, and feedback from key informants. A field survey instrument was developed, tested, modified, and completed by interviewing 172 individuals and conducting two focus groups. Water and feed shortages are the main constraints for land use and livestock husbandry. Acute shortages in feed resources force livestock owners to seek other sources of income. The study results showed that less than one percent of the local community supports the construction of earth dams on rangeland reserves. Land donation and sharing by the landowners is a possible proposal for selecting potential sites for earth dams. The survey results revealed that there is no robust plan for how to use the harvested water. The lack of active participation of local communities during the planning and execution of natural resources development projects led to project failure to secure water resources in the study area. We recommend that policymakers and water resources managers seriously consider active community involvement in water harvesting programs. Hence, the present top-bottom approach should be replaced by the bottom-up approach to provide sustainable assurances to water development programs. Community engagement in the management of the harvested water optimizes the benefits and uses of available water while contributing to the empowerment of the rural poor communities.
Keywords: arid land; earth dam; rangeland resources; water resources; Jordan.
Special Issue on: ETAGRO 2018 Formulating a New Framework for Rural Development under the Impact of the Digital Revolution
Students training needs towards Precision Agriculture
by Aikaterini Paltaki, Anastasios Michailidis
Abstract: SPARKLE is a European Union project, where one of the main objectives is to help narrow the innovation divide on entrepreneurship and the effective application of sustainable precision agriculture. Precision agriculture (PA) is an innovative production method but the lack of training does not allow farmers to properly assess the negative and positive aspects of PA. Data were collected through questionnaires from 100 students of northern Greek Agricultural Science Universities. The aim of this paper was to provide input for the identification of students training needs and lack of knowledge in skills and their willingness or interest in PA. Our results indicate that most respondents have a low level of knowledge about precision farming and its practices. Significantly, the findings reveal the students attitude that this production system requires constant and relevant training. A more detailed discussion can be found in the SPARKLE project report, available through the website (http://sparkle-project.eu/).
Keywords: Training; Technology; Sustainable agriculture; Precision farming; Categorical Regression.
Assessment of the Impact of Pillar I and II Policy Measures on the Local Economy: The Case of the Central Macedonia Region
by Christos Karelakis, Georgios Lampiris, Efstratios Loizou
Abstract: The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has gone through numerous reforms since it was launched in the early 60s. The most important reform corresponds to the period of 20142020, which was particularly significant for the Greek economy due to the ongoing economic vulnerability. The present paper endeavours to assess the possible impacts that the reformed CAP may have on a Greek regional economy, employing an Input-Output model. Particularly, the paper evaluates the impact of the Pillar I and II measures on the output, income and employment of the region using an Input-Output (I/O) model with the GRIT method. Utilising the FLQ quotient as a regionalisation method, the results designate that the implementation of the Pillar I and Pillar II policy measures have a positive effect on the regional economy in terms of both the output and the income.
Keywords: Policy Measures; Pillar I; Pillar II; policy impacts; Input-Output; regional economy.
Cost Recovery and Water Pricing: The Influence of Current Charging of Irrigation Water on Users Willingness to Pay
by DIMITRA LAZARIDOU, Anastasios Michailidis, Marios Trigkas
Abstract: The cost recovery approach is introduced by the Water Framework Directive poses an important challenge for Greece, where agricultural users traditionally pay water charges according to the irrigated land area. Given that the viability of farming depends largely on the efficient use of agricultural water, the full cost recovery could be an incentive for the sustainable use of water resources and a factor contributing to the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. This survey attempts to investigate irrigators willingness to pay any extra money in order to attain the water quality targets set by the WFD. In particular, it is estimated the value that farmers, with heterogeneous characteristics related to irrigation conditions, place on water quality improvement. As it arises from the results, the current charging of irrigation water constitutes a crucial factor in shaping their willingness to contribute monetarily for the environmental protection and restoration of water.
Keywords: Cost Recovery; Water Pricing; Environmental Charge; Irrigation Water; Water Framework Directive.
The construction of the Rural through social media: an imaged based methodology to understand perceptions for the Greek countryside
by EPISTIMI AMERANI, MARIA PARTALIDOU
Abstract: The paper tries to discuss the social construction of rurality in the new era of mass media communication focusing, especially on perceptions of Generation Z; born and raised with the internet. The qualitative research follows an imaged based methodology and focus group discussions. The visual analytical techniques, including content analysis and semiotic analysis showed that the positive images of rurality are dominant in the internet and social media. Through a self-coding process one third of the images define rural areas as traditional areas with intensive farming, one third landscape and the rest, social features, aging and fresh produce. As images take up an important role in our everyday life, especially through the Internet and social media, there is a great potential through this methodology to understand how they shape behaviors and decisions, especially by Generation Z that will drive both consumption and labour market in the future.
Keywords: rural idyll; representations; images; rural tourism; internet; Generation Z; mass media.
Economic Complexity and the Environment: Some estimates on their links.
by Georgios Kosifakis, Athanasios Kampas, Christos T. Papadas
Abstract: The concept of economic complexity and the relevant Economic Complexity Index (ECI) have been introduced in the theory and empirics of economic growth. As a consequence, the literature on economic complexity covers its relationship with several factors related to growth including environmental implications. Using traditional non-parametric statistics methods, the study investigates again the relationship between economic complexity and per capita incomes, and the relationship between economic complexity and the environment. Environmental variables used are the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), the per capita Ecological Footprint of consumption (EFc)pc and the per capita Economic Footprint of production (EFp)pc. The relationships are studied for a large set of economies as a whole, and for countries of two different levels of development as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). Results confirm the positive relationship between per capita incomes and economic complexity while those with regards to environmental implications depend on the environmental index chosen and the level of development. Economic complexity is positively associated with the strain on the environment shown by the EFs, but positively associated also with the environmental performance of policies given by the EPI. rnrn
Keywords: Economic Complexity; GDP per capita; Ecological Footprint; Environmental Performance Index; Human Development Index.rn.
Investigating Educational Mobile Apps for Agriculture
by Constantina Costopoulou, Sotirios Karetsos, Maria Ntaliani
Abstract: Successful mobile apps require user-centered processes for engaging users in app development. Mobile apps can deliver essential information for agriculture, such as market information, and environmental principles; assist farming activities, such as disease management; and provide expert consultation and education. In this light, the objective of this article is twofold: firstly to depict the current status of agricultural mobile apps provision; and secondly to implement and evaluate two educational mobile apps, for beekeeping and olive cultivation, following a user-centered process for involving agricultural stakeholders. The literature and market review show that there is an increasing interest in agricultural mobile apps and a very limited number of agricultural mobile apps. The used methodology can serve as a roadmap for other agricultural activities or business sectors. The mobile app evaluation highlighted the need for providing certified, intime, and localized information for specific agricultural activities.
Keywords: Agriculture; Mobile applications; Education; User-centered design; Unified Modelling Language; Agricultural stakeholders; Beekeeping; Olive cultivation.
Assessing the high protein crops wider diffusion in the European agricultural sector. The role and prospects of legumes.
by Leonidas Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Christina Kleisiari, Spyros Niavis
Abstract: Recently, there is a strong support of European Commission for the empowerment of high protein crops cultivation in Europe. The shift to a more high-protein inclusive sector is not free of challenges and constraints. Towards this objective, a strategic approach is essential. Responding to this need, the present paper builds on the existing knowledge produced by both field and macro-oriented studies and develops a framework for assessing the potential of high protein crops development. Emphasis is given on legumes as a variety of many environmental and agronomical benefits. The paper utilizes a PESTE-SWOT analysis in order to evaluate how the strengths and weaknesses of such types of crop systems respond to the threats and opportunities emanating from the Political, Economic, Social, Technological and Environmental factors of the external environment. The results show that among other actions, the wider dissemination of high protein crops benefits to farmers and consumers may have a key role for the achievement of their wider cultivation in Europe.
Keywords: protein sources; leguminous crops; soybeans; PESTE-SWOT analysis; Europe.
Back to the future: simplifying Sustainable Development Goals based on three pillars of sustainability.
by Evropi-Sofia Dalampira, Stefanos Nastis
Abstract: Until 2030, the United Nations (UN) agenda for Sustainable Development (SD) comprises of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) each one of which includes the environment, economy and society dimension of SD. This paper aims to better depict SDGs targeting to the communication and awareness of SD to the public. Network analysis techniques were used to streamline the UN diagram of SDGs by linking each one of them to the classic three-Pillar Venn diagram of SD, according to the publics understanding. The UNs description of SDGs seems to be clearly multidimensional in these three pillars, as the public rated them almost the same. SDG agenda has fulfilled its good communication goal. But was revealed that a simple form of SDG diagram like the Venn diagram of 3 Pillars of SD could help to deeper understanding and changing attitudes of SDGs. Thus, the SDG agenda is communicative for the public in wording, but a better communication diagram is a necessity for the future of SD implementation to various stakeholders.
Keywords: Attitude change; network analysis; sustainable development; sustainable development goals.