Measuring environmental, economic, and social sustainability index of tea farms in Rize Province, Turkey

  • Shamsheer ul HaqEmail author
  • Ismet Boz


Tea farms sustainability assessment was the primary aim of this study. A set of socially, scientifically, and self-validated indicators based on the defined basic factor and established criteria were developed and used to measure the tea farms sustainability. A total of 138 tea growers, selected by stratified sampling technique, were interviewed. Various steps were executed such as application of factor analysis after standardizing the indicators to estimate their weights for aggregation them in order to measure the composite tea farms sustainability index. The results show that average farms sustainability index was 0.39, which was not up to the mark. Although the economic sustainability (0.23) was even lower than the overall sustainability index, social (0.51) and environmental (0.43) sustainability indices were higher. Furthermore, in result of k-mean cluster analysis, farmers were clustered into low (42%) and high (58%) sustainability tea farms. The comparison of these two groups demonstrated that the high-sustainability tea farmers were hiring less labor, and also applying low chemical fertilizers at their tea orchards. Regarding farm management practices, they were also good as compared to low-sustainability tea farmers in the practice of terracing, conducting soil test, and applying fertilizer. Moreover, they were significantly different in environmental sustainability than the other group. It was concluded that the economic sustainability lowers the overall sustainability, and in order to increase tea sustainability in study area the first priority should be given to the implementation of agricultural policies focusing on economic conditions of farmers. Two initial strategies of increasing economic sustainability are controlling the chemical fertilizers and employing family members instead of hiring labor. These need to be followed by other factors that lower economic sustainability.


Environmental sustainability Economic sustainability Social sustainability Tea farms sustainability Indicators Composite tea farms sustainability index 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EconomicsOndokuz Mayıs UniversitySamsunTurkey

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