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Inefficiency due to parcel fragmentation in olive orchards
- Colombo, S., Perujo-Villanueva, M.
- Acta horticulturae 2018 no.1199 pp. 159-164
- Olea europaea, abandoned land, agricultural policy, farmers, farms, habitat fragmentation, mechanization, olives, orchards, production costs, world markets
- In this work, we calculate the inefficiency that arises from land fragmentation and, in particular, from the border effect. This concept quantifies the impact of mechanization on the borders of the plot, where efficiency is lost because only the outer side of the olive row is treated, while, between rows, the treatment can be applied to two rows of olive trees at once. Because of the border effect, farmers have to spend more time and effort on management operations of their land, bearing an increase in production costs, which hampers farm competitiveness and may lead to a progressive exclusion of these farms from international markets and to land abandonment. Results indicate that there is a significant loss of efficiency due to parcel fragmentation. The results argue for specific agricultural policies that foster cooperation between farmers in order to reduce parcel fragmentation and production costs.