عنوان مقاله [English]
The relationship between economic development and the environment is known as one of the most important issues facing societies. If in the context of sustainable development, economic and environmental activities are considered together, the environment and economic development are two complementary factors and, as a result, it will lead to ecological balance. In this case, economic activities will not disturb this balance. Presently, the imperative of safeguarding the environment and attaining sustainable development has ascended to a prominent position on the agendas of diverse societies, Iran included. This commitment is underscored by the execution of comprehensive economic, social, and cultural initiatives aimed at fostering long-term ecological resilience and balanced societal progress. Therefore, to preserve the environment and meet the goals of sustainable development, as well as to guide and rationally manage plans and projects, especially in the agricultural sector, serious measures should be taken. Therefore, this study was carried out to evaluate the operational, environmental, and eco-efficiency of the major agricultural products of the irrigation and drainage networks of Gotvand.
The irrigation and drainage network of Gotvand is located in the southwest of Iran in Khuzestan province. This network is designed to irrigate lands located in three regions of Gotvand, Aghili, and Dimcheh, enclosed between two rivers, Karun and Lor. According to the official statistics of government organizations, the consumption of fertilizers and chemical poisons in the lands covered by this network is 3.6 times the average limit in Iran. The excess irrigation water in this network is returned to the rivers by the built-in drains and causes water pollution downstream of the network. Therefore, considering that environmental protection is one of the most important aspects of sustainable development, it is very important to investigate the effects of the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture and to introduce solutions to improve the efficiency of the environment in the study area.
Materials and Methods
Eco-efficiency includes operational and environmental impacts, which are presented as the ratio of the weighted sum of outputs to the weighted sum of inputs (operational inputs + environmental inputs). However, since agricultural activities are carried out in uncertain environmental conditions, there is uncertainty regarding inputs and outputs. The uncertainty in some of the effective input and output parameters in the ranking of networks, and as a result, the inaccuracy of the model calculation results, and the need to pay attention to the use of uncertainty models, make it more obvious. Therefore, in the present study, to include the conditions of uncertainty and risk, the robust data envelopment analysis (RDEA) model was used, which is one of the most powerful and useful models in conditions of uncertainty. The required data were collected by completing a questionnaire of the Gotvand, Aghili, and Dimche regions using a simple random sampling method in 2019.
Results and Discussion
The alfalfa producers in the Gotvand region assigned the highest environmental and Eco-efficiency by obtaining points in the range of 81 to 89 percent and 90 to 96 percent, respectively. The rice crop in the Aghili region had the highest types of operational efficiency based on different levels of deviation probability in the range of 77-87%, environmental efficiency in the range of 80-90%, and environmental-economic efficiency in the range of 87-95%. Dimanche sugarcane region has the highest average of efficiency types for different levels of deviation probability by obtaining points in the range of 78 to 90, 80 to 89, and 87 to 95 respectively for operational, environmental, and Eco-efficiency. Comparing the results of technical efficiency with environmental efficiency shows the lack of attention and skill of farmers in the correct and optimal use of production inputs. Therefore, it is necessary to hold educational and promotional classes to empower farmers to improve production methods and optimal consumption of inputs to improve farmers' income and increase their profits. Given that a substantial portion of energy consumption within the agricultural sector is attributed to fuels and diesel, optimizing energy usage and promoting the adoption of newer, less polluting energy sources emerge as crucial imperatives. Enhancing environmental efficiency in this context involves a strategic focus on reducing reliance on traditional, environmentally taxing energy forms in favor of more sustainable alternatives.
The average operating efficiency in all different probability levels for the studied products in Goutvand , Aghili, and Dimche areas, except for beans in the Gatund area, was estimated to be lower than the average environmental efficiency. This shows the lack of ability and skill of farmers to produce a certain product with the lowest amount of input, while the farmers of these areas pay great attention and care to environmental issues.