African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6786

Full Length Research Paper

Energy efficiency improvement in forage maize production using data envelopment analysis approach

Alireza Amanloo1 and Hassan Ghasemi Mobtaker2*
  1Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran. 2Young Researches Club, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2012
  •  Published: 29 October 2012



The objective of this study was to apply the non–parametric method of data envelopment analysis (DEA) to analyze the efficiency of farmers, discriminate efficient farmers from inefficient ones and to identify wasteful uses of energy for forage maize production in Zanjan province, Iran. This method was used based on eight energy inputs including human labour, machinery, diesel fuel, fertilizers, farmyard manure, biocide, electricity and seed energy and single output of forage maize yield. From this study, the following results were obtained: The average values of technical, pure technical and scale efficiency scores of farmers were 0.843, 0.957 and 0.894, respectively. Also, energy saving target ratio for forage maize production was calculated as 7.64%, indicating that by following the recommendations resulting from this study, about 5931.25 MJ ha–1 of total input energy could be saved while holding the constant level of forage maize yield. Moreover, the contribution of electricity input from total saving energy was 44.01% which was the highest share followed by chemical fertilizers (23.06%) energy inputs. Optimization of energy use improved the energy use efficiency, energy productivity and net energy by 7.98, 7.59 and 12.21%, respectively. Also, the total CO2 emissions in forage maize production can be reduced by 5.35% to the value of 1472018 t/ha.


Key words: Data envelopment analysis, optimization, energy efficiency, forage maize.