Location Optimization of Rapeseed and Soybean Cultivation Areas Considering Economic, Climatic and Social Criteria

Location Optimization of Rapeseed and Soybean Cultivation Areas Considering Economic, Climatic and Social Criteria

Reza Babazadeh (Urmia University, Iran, Islamic Republic Of), Mohammad Voria Yavarirad (Urmia University, Iran, Islamic Republic Of) and Ehsan Momeni Bashusqeh (Urmia University, Iran, Islamic Republic Of)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.2018070104

Abstract

This article describes how among different oilseeds, rapeseed and soybean contain considerable amounts of protein and oil and have a specific role in agriculture and supplying food. Optimizing the cultivation areas of rapeseed and soybean based on sustainability factors will improve their productivity, economic, environmental, and social objectives. The goal of the present article is to investigate the background for cultivation of these two types of seeds using a data envelopment analysis (DEA) method. Sustainable development criteria including economic, climatic and social criteria are considered in assessing the candidate locations for cultivating soybean and rapeseed by DEA model. The proposed method is applied in Iran. The Principle Component Analysis (PCA) method is used to verify and validate the results of DEA model. Results show that the DEA model can be used as a powerful tool to optimize the cultivation areas of soybean and rapeseed.
Article Preview

1. Introduction

Nowadays, oilseeds are the most important source of edible oil and have a specific role in agriculture and supplying food (Lu et al., 2011). One of the valuable edible oilseeds in the world is soybean (Steenson and Min, 2000). Because of low saturation and thermal stability, soya oil has a specific status among all types of edible oil (Mackay, 2000; Cuesta et al., 1993). Rapeseed is considered as a promising source for supplying edible oil due to having features such as adaptation to different climates, high crop rotation value, weed control, having both spring and autumn types, and significant yield per unit area.

Iran supplies a large part of its need for oilseeds through imports. According to the information provided by Ministry of Agriculture-Jahad of Iran (www.maj.ir).

About 4 billion dollars annually is spent on the import of raw oil, meal, and soybeans in Iran, which is a significant amount. Also, the private sector mainly imports raw oil instead of oilseeds which could be used to produce oil and meal. Since the meal is used as a poultry food, the price fluctuation of the meal has a great impact on the prices of chicken and eggs in the country. Another important problem with raw oil imports is that it threatens food security in the country. Therefore, it is necessary to increase oilseeds production in Iran to improve oil and meal production. By increasing the oilseed cultivation areas, Iran is seeking to reduce dependence on oil imports. Therefore, the government of Iran has put in place a policy of guaranteeing the purchase of oilseeds produced by domestic farmers. Cultivation of rapeseed and soybeans along with sunflower, sesame is one of the most important government policies to increase oilseeds in the country. These plans will improve employment in the agricultural sector and also reduce the import of oilseeds.

Considering the above-mentioned issues, it is critical to provide an appropriate decision-making tool which helps policymakers in recognizing the most suitable locations for oilseeds cultivation in Iran. In this paper, a suitable decision-making tool considering sustainable development criteria is developed. Rapeseed could be alternatively cultivated with wheat and barley, which improves soil and the sustainability of their production (Rondanini et al., 2012). Also, this will promote seasonal employment for permanent employment in agriculture. Obviously, cultivation of rapeseed and wheat or barely alternatively will improve sustainability problems arisen due to land occupation by these crops.

Iran plans to reduce raw oil imports from 90 percent to about 70 percent in a 10-year horizon. Obviously, assigning more lands for oilseeds cultivation will threaten production of other crops such as wheat which compromises sustainable development. Since rapeseed is cultivated in turn with wheat there is no compromising issue with that. However, more soybean cultivation may create the problem of producing other crops. To deal with this problem, Iran plans to reach about 30 percent domestic production of oilseeds.

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Reset
Open Access Articles
Volume 11: 4 Issues (2020): Forthcoming, Available for Pre-Order
Volume 10: 4 Issues (2019): 2 Released, 2 Forthcoming
Volume 9: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2011)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2010)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing