Are Tunisian organic olive growing farms sustainable? An adapted IDEA approach analysis uri icon

abstract

  • Sustainability and multifunctionality of agriculture have become widely shared goals for both scientific community and decision makers. Nowadays, it is important to assess not only the economic sustainability of farms, but also their environmental and socio-territorial sustainability. Numerous sustainability measurement tools have been developed by researchers and some institutions to assess these three dimensions. With the purpose to improve farms' sustainability, this paper aims providing oriented strategies to go toward more conscientious farmers' practices in the Tunisian organic olive sector. To reach this goal, two methodological steps were followed: (i) a sustainability measurement process to quantify farms' sustainability by a methodological adaptation of the IDEA approach; (ii) on the basis of the obtained scores of the three sustainability scales, farms' segmentation was carried out by the use of cluster analysis. In that sense, a questionnaire directed to a sample of organic olive growing farmers was carried out in the regions of Sfax and Mandia, Tunisia. Results show a variability of sustainability levels within and between groups of farms. Cluster analysis results confirmed the existence of two main farms' groups. The first group is more agro-environmentally and socio-territorially sustainable than the second one. Weaknesses in the sustainability performances have been identified and improvement strategies have been formulated and oriented to each group. Results also indicate that in some cases there is no antagonism between environmental, socio-territorial and economic sustainability, so it is possible to improve simultaneously the three dimensions of susta inability.

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012