Drivers for Competitiveness in Agri-Food Sector and Development of Rural Areas

A special issue of Economies (ISSN 2227-7099).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 28107

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Guest Editor
Institute of Economics and Finance, Warsaw University of Life Sciences WULS – SGGW, 02-787 Warszawa, Poland
Interests: spatial economy; agricultural economics; price analysis; economics and market organization; logistics; transport
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An efficient, competitive, and sustainable agri-food sector that provides a stable supply of food at affordable prices has traditionally been a goal of every government. The importance of this sector in modern economies is intensified by global trends, including the explosion of population, migration waves, and climate change. In addition to the classic pressure for productivity growth, these trends are accompanied by competition for resources, restructuring, and relocation of agri-food production. In order to help producers in the agri-food sector face these challenges and threats, policymakers need to understand, among other things, the drivers of competitiveness.

The aim of this Special Issue is to disseminate the results of empirical and theoretical research on competitiveness in the agri-food sector. As competitiveness is a multidimensional and relative concept, we invite researchers to contribute original research articles that relate to competitiveness at both micro and macro levels. The topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Productivity dynamics of producers in the agri-food sector and its sources;
  • Technical efficiency of producers in agri-food sectors and its determinants;
  • Implications of innovation on competitiveness in the agri-food sector;
  • Firm flexibility and economies of scope in the agri-food sector;
  • Concentration and market power in the agri-food sector;
  • Agri-food market integration;
  • Global competitiveness of the agri-food sector;
  • Policies for competitiveness in the agri-food sector;
  • Trade in agri-food products;
  • Analyses of the price of agri-food products;
  • Importance of logistics in building the competitiveness of enterprises in the agri-food sector.

Dr. Monica Roman
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • productivity
  • efficiency
  • economies of scale
  • economies of scope
  • technological change
  • profitability
  • quality
  • market power
  • market structure
  • market integration
  • public policy, trade, price analysis, logistics, supply chain

Published Papers (10 papers)

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16 pages, 619 KiB  
Article
The Economic Efficiency of Coffee Growers in the Department of Caldas, Colombia
by Hugo Mauricio Salazar Echeverry, Hernando Duque Orrego and Juan Carlos Granobles-Torres
Economies 2023, 11(10), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies11100255 - 12 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1726
Abstract
This work evaluates the economic efficiency of coffee growers and the decision-making processes in the configuration of their production systems and agronomic practices over time. For these purposes, information from 136 coffee growers in the department of Caldas was analyzed. These growers systematically [...] Read more.
This work evaluates the economic efficiency of coffee growers and the decision-making processes in the configuration of their production systems and agronomic practices over time. For these purposes, information from 136 coffee growers in the department of Caldas was analyzed. These growers systematically recorded and constructed their production costs for seven years (2015–2021) within the framework of the Business Management Program of the Departmental Committee of Coffee Growers of Caldas. Additionally, through a survey, more information on the socioeconomic types, production systems, and decision-making processes in the implementation of practices and use of technologies was obtained. Stochastic frontier analysis demonstrates that on average, these coffee farmers had an economic efficiency of 89%. The group of coffee growers with efficiency levels equal to or higher than 90% comprised 80 producers (59%). These results indicate that for the period of analysis, there are no structural inefficiencies that cannot be corrected; that is, these coffee growers can increase their efficiency and productivity levels with the available technologies. Full article
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29 pages, 3160 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Technology Adoption as a Source of Competitive Advantage for Pineapple Production in Ejigbo, Nigeria
by Moshood Olatunde Oladapo, Moheeb Abualqumboz, Lawrence M. Ngoe, Abiodun Kolawole Oyetunji, Chiemela Victor Amaechi, Rasheed Bello and Ebube Charles Amaechi
Economies 2023, 11(9), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies11090222 - 31 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1849
Abstract
Adopting new technology as a strategic resource can result in a competitive edge in any market. However, a competitive advantage cannot be acquired in the production of horticultural goods without first embracing the practices that are inextricably linked to those goods. This paper [...] Read more.
Adopting new technology as a strategic resource can result in a competitive edge in any market. However, a competitive advantage cannot be acquired in the production of horticultural goods without first embracing the practices that are inextricably linked to those goods. This paper investigates the adoption of farm practices in conjunction with technology transferred to farmers. Some research debates on competitive advantages have identified both resources and processes of production as sources of competitive advantage. The emphasis on the resource-based view and dynamic capability view stipulates that firms acquire competitiveness via internal resources and capabilities. However, there has not been much empirical exploration of horticultural production sustainability in this regard despite its sufficiently outstanding contribution to the gross domestic product in developing and developed economies. It specifically discusses how Technology Adoption Practices (TAP) could lead to a competitive advantage in horticulture with particular reference to the production of pineapple fruit in Ejigbo, Nigeria. From the angle of professional practice; the study provides an insight into how farmers strive to suggest solutions to practical challenges faced within the production process. Therefore, it is essential to have practices in place for the adoption of sustainable technology. The outcomes of the study generate two different storylines and demonstrate that attributing factors as well as reinforcing capabilities both boost competitiveness at the farm level and enhance the farmers’ desire for farming pineapples. Pineapple farmers in Ejigbo employ a differentiation approach to gain a competitive advantage in their agro-farming industry. This could lead to an increase in the volume of fresh pineapple products that are exported. Full article
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24 pages, 1186 KiB  
Article
Social Innovations for the Achievement of Competitive Agriculture and the Sustainable Development of Peripheral Rural Areas
by Jadranka Deže, Tihana Sudarić and Snježana Tolić
Economies 2023, 11(8), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies11080209 - 10 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to analyze social innovations in a broader context in order to achieve sustainable development goals. In terms of a response to the research questions, a comprehensive analysis of an alteration process in rural development was conducted while [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to analyze social innovations in a broader context in order to achieve sustainable development goals. In terms of a response to the research questions, a comprehensive analysis of an alteration process in rural development was conducted while identifying the social innovations, highlighting the good practices, and conceptualizing the social innovation typology of peripheral rural areas. The methodology included a comparative analysis addressing three European regions, namely Northern, Central, and Western Europe, represented by Finland, Croatia, and France, respectively, together with their nine good practice examples during a biennial RUR’UP project period. The results demonstrate the typological differences between the selected examples of social innovations that stimulate the rural development of peripheral rural areas. These examples were formulated by the different social conditions in which these innovations were created. As a traditional economic activity in rural areas, agriculture is a great challenge for the application of innovations, can effectuate changes in the economic activities of the rural population, and can promote social and economic sustainability. In conclusion, significant differences among the regions were proven on the basis of social, environmental, and economic impacts arising from the application of social innovation. Full article
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19 pages, 1016 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Agri-Food Supply Channels on the Efficiency and Links in Supply Chains
by Zhanarys Raimbekov, Bakyt Syzdykbayeva, Aigerim Rakhmetulina, Zhibek Rakhmetulina, Tana Abylaikhanova, Mainur Ordabayeva and Lyubov Doltes
Economies 2023, 11(8), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies11080206 - 2 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
Improving the efficiency in the links in the supply chains of agri-food products is relevant in terms of the assessment methodology and practical aspects for ensuring and supporting sustainable supply chains of products not only in individual channels of product movement but also [...] Read more.
Improving the efficiency in the links in the supply chains of agri-food products is relevant in terms of the assessment methodology and practical aspects for ensuring and supporting sustainable supply chains of products not only in individual channels of product movement but also in the end-to-end supply chain of products, i.e., from the field to the end consumer. However, it is still unclear which supply chain opportunities in commodity distribution channels are more effective for creating end-to-end sustainable supply chains for agri-food products. The purpose of the study is to develop a methodology for assessing the impact of agri-food supply channels on the efficiency and link in supply chains, taking into account the factors affecting them and developing recommendations for their improvement. Quantitative methods based on correlation and regression analysis using the EViews program on the basis of Kazakh statistical data for 2008–2022 were used. A methodology is proposed for assessing the effectiveness of the functioning and links in commodity movement in the supply chains of agricultural products at the macroeconomic level based on the consideration and use of important factors affecting the efficiency and links: production and sales volumes, total costs, and profitability for each supply channel: “production–processing–industrial production–trade”. The relationship between the efficiency and the links in supply chains and also the key factors that affect them have been established. The results showed that the increase in the efficiency in supply channels in the commodity distribution system leads to a decrease in the coefficient of the link in commodity movement and inventory availability. To reduce the link ratio in the supply chains of agri-food products, it is necessary to increase the efficiency in supply chains in each supply chain link and reduce the share of retail trade in the gross turnover. Recommendations are proposed to improve supply chain efficiency and reduce links to support and create end-to-end sustainable supply chains of agri-food products. The study makes an essential contribution to providing empirical evidence of the relationship between the effectiveness of agri-food supply channels and the link in the supply chain. Since few works describe the relationship between the links of product distribution and the efficiency in supply chains in the literature, in this work, it was possible to propose a methodology and identify factors and gaps in research to identify potential areas for future research. Full article
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24 pages, 1401 KiB  
Article
Agricultural Economic Growth, Renewable Energy Supply and CO2 Emissions Nexus
by Tagwi Aluwani
Economies 2023, 11(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies11030085 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2946
Abstract
International trade has created more economic growth opportunities in the agriculture sector. The agricultural sector remains key to the South African economy, with a vibrant international market becoming available as the country’s agriculture exports grow. However, the impacts of human-caused global warming have [...] Read more.
International trade has created more economic growth opportunities in the agriculture sector. The agricultural sector remains key to the South African economy, with a vibrant international market becoming available as the country’s agriculture exports grow. However, the impacts of human-caused global warming have intensified as a result of increased greenhouse gas emissions, notably carbon dioxide (CO2), which negatively affects agricultural productivity and the economy. Considering the future energy resource demands for agricultural productivity due to the expected population growth and the emphasis on environmental remedial actions, the following question presents itself: what impact will a clean energy supply have on the agricultural economy and the environment, notwithstanding that agriculture, as a sector, also has a huge potential to contribute to renewable energy production? This study examines the effect of the nexus of South Africa’s renewable energy supply, CO2 emissions and trade openness on agricultural economic growth from 1990 to 2021. The nexus provides crucial insights into policies targeted at promoting renewable energy in the agricultural sector by isolating key areas of priority. An autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds test, fully modified ordinary least square (FMOLS) test, a dynamic ordinary least square (DOLS) test and a canonical cointegrating regression (CCR) econometric analysis were used to estimate the nexus. The results showed that growth in the agricultural sector leads to deterioration in the environment, while international trade benefits the sector. The scale of renewable energy supply slowed down the agricultural economy. The study makes a new contribution in providing empirical evidence for the links between renewable energy supply and agricultural GDP, which can drive policy on renewable energy use in the agricultural sector in South Africa. The paper recommends intentional renewable energy production research and development (R&D) finance focusing on renewable energy human development planning and investments in vocational programmes in higher learning institutes, agricultural renewable energy policy and the creation of green incentive schemes for feedstock producers, especially in rural areas in the agricultural sector. Full article
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10 pages, 1791 KiB  
Article
Accounting for Heterogeneity in Performance Evaluation of Norwegian Dairy and Crop-Producing Farms
by Habtamu Alem
Economies 2023, 11(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies11010009 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
It is critical to analyze the performance of enterprises to achieve sustainable agricultural development. Several studies have been conducted to assess farm performance. However, the studies have been criticized for failing to account for farm heterogeneity (which is frequently unobserved) in their evaluation [...] Read more.
It is critical to analyze the performance of enterprises to achieve sustainable agricultural development. Several studies have been conducted to assess farm performance. However, the studies have been criticized for failing to account for farm heterogeneity (which is frequently unobserved) in their evaluation of Norwegian agricultural performance. Technically, a farm is efficient if it can produce a certain amount of output with the fewest possible inputs and no input waste. In this paper, efficiency scores are calculated using a production function with both a random intercept and a random slope parameter, addressing the issue of unobserved heterogeneity in stochastic frontier analysis. Using Norwegian dairy and crop farms as a case study, we demonstrate the viability of improving the agriculture industry and reducing resource waste. The case study was established on data collected from 5884 dairy farms and 1880 crop farms from the years 2000 to 2019. According to the empirical findings of the case study, dairy and crop producers used inefficient technologies and squandered production resources. If all farmers follow a sustainable and efficient path to produce agricultural output, they could increase output by 15–18%. Farmers must follow sustainable paths, and politicians must encourage farm experience exchange so that less efficient dairy and crop-producing farms can learn from the most efficient farms to achieve sustainable development. Full article
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17 pages, 954 KiB  
Article
Do Import Tariff Adjustments Bolster Domestic Production? Analysis of the South African-Brazilian Poultry Market Case
by Kgothatso Nkgadima and Chiedza L. Muchopa
Economies 2022, 10(12), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies10120318 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1944
Abstract
The South African poultry industry plays an important food security contributory role, hence, consumer and producer interests ought to be accounted for in order to maintain the long term value of the industry in the presence of import competition. This study used the [...] Read more.
The South African poultry industry plays an important food security contributory role, hence, consumer and producer interests ought to be accounted for in order to maintain the long term value of the industry in the presence of import competition. This study used the Error Correction Model (ECM) to investigate the relationship between the variables as well as the Impulse Response Model to assess the level of responsiveness of import volume and domestic production due to changes in the import tariff for the period 2010m04 to 2020m06. The ECM results with a negative ECT value of −0.53, indicate that a long run relationship exists between domestic broiler production volume, imported broiler quantity and the Ad Valorem import tariff. The Impulse Response Model has shown that over ten periods, the adjustments in the Ad Valorem tariff initially produce desirable results showing that a one standard deviation shock to the Ad Valorem tariff culminates in a sharp decline in import volume and a sharp increase in domestic volume produced. However, this response cannot be maintained over the long term, thus signaling the need for a more effective and viable solution other than an increase in the Ad Valorem import tariff to alleviate the stiff competition between domestic production and an increased supply of broiler imports. The study findings have policy implications for resolving internal issues in the South African poultry industry, such as improving production capacity and sector competitiveness at the same time maintaining the gains from trade especially for consumers. Full article
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22 pages, 1582 KiB  
Article
Is Market Power or Efficiency behind Economic Performance? The Case of the Czech Food Processing Industry
by Zdeňka Žáková Kroupová, Gabriela Trnková and Monika Roman
Economies 2022, 10(9), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies10090215 - 6 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
This article attempts to identify the main reason for the profitability of Czech food processing companies. For this purpose, an analysis of the profitability of the food industry was carried out in the framework of the Structure–Conduct–Performance (SCP) paradigm; specifically, the relative market [...] Read more.
This article attempts to identify the main reason for the profitability of Czech food processing companies. For this purpose, an analysis of the profitability of the food industry was carried out in the framework of the Structure–Conduct–Performance (SCP) paradigm; specifically, the relative market power (RMP) hypothesis versus the efficiency hypothesis was tested. The analysis used data at the micro-economic level of six Nomenclature of Economic Activities (NACE) sub-sectors of the Czech food processing industry in the period 2016–2020. The final dataset consisted of 2639 observations of 623 companies. The data came from the database of Bisnode Albertina and the Czech Statistical Office. Stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) and a regression model were used in the study. Based on the research carried out, performance does not seem to be explained by a greater market power represented by a firm’s market share. Only one sub-sector was proven to have a higher marginal effect of market power on profitability than technical efficiency. Thus, it can be concluded that companies with relatively larger market shares do not have greater market power and thus do not achieve higher profitability. Full article
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17 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Government Expenditure in Agriculture and Other Selected Variables on the Value of Agricultural Production in South Africa (1983–2019): Vector Autoregressive Approach
by Etian Ngobeni and Chiedza L. Muchopa
Economies 2022, 10(9), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies10090205 - 24 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5300
Abstract
South African agriculture has the potential to stimulate growth in other economic sectors, but dwindling budgetary allocations to agriculture over time and the nature of other impacting factors on the value of agricultural production have not received much attention in recent times. Therefore, [...] Read more.
South African agriculture has the potential to stimulate growth in other economic sectors, but dwindling budgetary allocations to agriculture over time and the nature of other impacting factors on the value of agricultural production have not received much attention in recent times. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of government expenditure in agriculture, annual average rainfall, consumer price index, food import value, and population on the value of agricultural production with a specific focus on government expenditure in agriculture for the period 1983 to 2019. Using the Johansen cointegration test, the results reveal that there is a long-run relationship among the variables. The Granger causality test results suggest that government expenditure in agriculture does not Granger cause the value of agricultural production. However, the two variables are linked through other variables in the model, such that an increase in government expenditure in agriculture, average annual rainfall, and population were shown to ultimately increase the value of agricultural production based on vector autoregressive (VAR) model analysis. In contrast, an increase in the consumer price index and food import value is detrimental to the value of agricultural production. These studies’ findings have policy implications for increased government expenditure. Full article
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15 pages, 1139 KiB  
Systematic Review
Generation Change in Agriculture: A Systematic Review of the Literature
by Áron József Borda, Balázs Sárvári and Jeremiás Máté Balogh
Economies 2023, 11(5), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies11050129 - 23 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5079
Abstract
Today, the replacement of the ageing agricultural population is a global challenge in many food-producing countries. This article aims to provide an overview of generational change in agriculture based on the literature in international economics published in recent years, using a systematic review [...] Read more.
Today, the replacement of the ageing agricultural population is a global challenge in many food-producing countries. This article aims to provide an overview of generational change in agriculture based on the literature in international economics published in recent years, using a systematic review of the scientific literature. Research has identified several factors as barriers to agricultural generational change. Young people are less motivated to take over family farms. Farming does not offer them sufficient income, and the working conditions are not ideal. Access to land is severely limited worldwide, and the market bargaining power of the younger generation is low. Administrative burdens are also a barrier to the generational renewal of farms. The effects of climate change also have the potential to discourage next-generation farmers. Financial support for generational change in agriculture could be one solution to all these problems. Furthermore, generational change can be enhanced by the modernization of farms, providing farmers with access to land, and making a positive difference to their income, all of which will increase the motivation of young farmers. Full article
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