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Sultan Qaboos University (2019)

Opportunities in developing controlled environment agriculture in arid areas : a case study in Oman

Al-Mezeini, Nawal Khamis Khalfan.

Titre : Opportunities in developing controlled environment agriculture in arid areas : a case study in Oman

Auteur : Al-Mezeini, Nawal Khamis Khalfan.

Université de soutenance : Sultan Qaboos University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Soil and Water Management 2019

Résumé partiel
Although the Omani government has been putting huge efforts in implementing Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), there is still a lack of detailed information regarding its status, opportunities and challenges. Therefore, this study aimed to provide a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the current status of CEA and to identify potential approaches and management practices to enhance this sector. The objectives of this study were : (1) to investigate the greenhouse (GH) farmers’ efficiency in terms of actual and energy input usage via Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach and (2) to evaluate status and potentials of CEA using SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) approach. The efficiency of the GH farmers was investigated using a two-stage approach and data were collected through assisted interviews (face-to-face). In the first stage, data envelopment analysis (DEA) was used to estimate the efficiency of the GH farmers and to pinpoint the wasted resources. Results revealed that 79% of GH farmers were technically inefficient. Water and electricity consumption exceeded the efficiency norm with up to 58% and 52%, respectively. In the second stage, the contextual (socioeconomic and environmental) factors that influenced the efficiency of GH farmers were identified using a truncated regression model along a double bootstrapping mechanism. Results revealed that water salinity was the environmental factor that has the most negative impact on GH efficiency. In energy efficiency analysis of GH farmers for winter and summer seasons, electricity was the major wasteful energy inputs with a total energy input use of more than 80% in both seasons. Energy efficiency analysis using DEA approach showed that an average of 25% from the total energy inputs could be saved if inefficient farmers follow the recommended amount of inputs in the study. .

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