Technical inefficiency of Dutch vegetable farms: Specific-input analyses

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Differences in technical efficiency across farms are one of the major factors explaining differences in farm survival and growth and changes in farm industry structure. This study employs Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to compute technical inefficiency scores for output, energy, materials, pesticides and fertiliser of a sample of Dutch indoor vegetable farms within the period 2006–2016. A bootstrap truncated regression model is used to determine statistical associations between producer-specific characteristics and technical inefficiency scores for the specified inputs. For the sample of indoor growers, the average technical inefficiency was about 14% for energy, 23% for materials, 24% for pesticides and 22% for fertilisers. The bootstrap truncated regression suggested that the degree of specialisation exerts adverse effects on the technical inefficiency of variable inputs. While age, short-term, long-term debt and subsidy were statistically significant, the coefficients were not economically significant. Building the capacity of farmers to reduce input inefficiency will enable farmers to be competitive and reduce the adverse effects of input overuse on the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0250494
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021

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