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Measurement of sustainable intensification by the integrated analysis of energy and economic flows: Case study of the olive-oil agricultural system of Estepa, Spain

AuthorsFlorencio Sánchez Escobar; Coq Huelva, Daniel; Sanz Cañada, Javier
KeywordsEnergy efficiency
Sustainable intensification
Integrated farming
Olive groves
Economic analysis
Issue Date2018
PublisherElsevier BV
CitationJournal of Cleaner Production 201: 463- 470 (2018)
AbstractIn the late 20 century, new patterns arose in the consumption of energy and materials in agriculture related to sustainable intensification observed in certain rural areas. This article discusses how these changes manifested themselves in the rain-fed agricultural olive-growing region of Estepa, in southern Spain. Considering farm inputs and outputs, it analyses energy and economic balances at different levels of intensification applying a methodology that combines process analysis, Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) and Activity-Based Costing (ABC). The results show that the farms following sustainable intensification models increased production from 36.8% to 64.4% and improved revenues per unit of energy invested from 40.0% to 60.0% while maintaining energy consumption. The models of sustainable intensification were related to the extension of integrated farming and have been led by a network of actors.
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