Improving Energy Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis: A Case of Walnut Production

  • Alireza Khoshroo
  • Richard Mulwa
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 215)


Walnut is one of the most nutritive crops and modern production methods require large quantities of energy. Efficient use of these energies is a necessary step toward agricultural sustainability. This study therefore focuses on optimizing energy consumption in walnut production by identifying and reducing excessive use of energy. A non-parametric input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) was applied to analyze energy efficiency of different walnut producers in Iran. DEA was used to model efficiency as an explicit function of human labor, machinery, fertilizers-chemicals and irrigation energies. The result of DEA analysisshows substantial inefficiency between the walnut producers in the studied area, withthe main difference between efficient and inefficient producers being in the use of chemicals, potash, machinery and irrigation water. The use of chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides for efficient producers was considerably less than inefficient ones by 90.21 % and 77.5 %.


Walnut production Data envelopment analysis Efficiency Productivity Managing service productivity 


  1. Annual agricultural statistics. Ministry of Agriculture of Iran. (in Persian). 2012. Last visited September 9, 2013.
  2. Banker, R. D., Charnes, A., & Cooper, W. W. (1984). Some models for estimating technical and scale inefficiencies in data envelopment analysis. Management Science, 30(9), 1078–1092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BeheshtiTabar, I., Keyhani, A., & Rafiee, S. (2010). Energy balance in Iran’s agronomy (1990–2006). Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14(2), 849–855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coelli, T. J., Rao, D. S. P., O’Donnell, C. J., & Battese, G. E. (2005). An introduction to efficiency and productivity analysis. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Emrouznejad, A., & De Witte, K. (2010) COOPER-framework: A unified process for non-parametric projects. Tier working paper series, 05(3), pp. 1–32.Google Scholar
  6. Emrouznejad, A., Parker, B. R., & Tavares, G. (2008). Evaluation of research in efficiency and productivity: A survey and analysis of the first 30 years of scholarly literature in DEA. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 42(3), 151–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Esengun, K., Gündüz, O., & Erdal, G. (2007). Input–output energy analysis in dry apricot production of Turkey. Energy Conversion and Management, 48(2), 592–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. FAO. Food and agricultural organization. (2012). Last visited September 9, 2013.
  9. Hatirli, S. A., Ozkan, B., & Fert, C. (2006). Energy inputs and crop yield relationship in greenhouse tomato production. Renewable Energy, 31(4), 427–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Khoshroo, A., Mulwa, R., Emrouznejad, A., & Arabi, B. (2013). A non-parametric data envelopment analysis approach for improving energy efficiency of grape production. Energy, 63, 189–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kizilaslan, H. (2009). Input–output energy analysis of cherries production in Tokat Province of Turkey. Applied Energy, 86(7), 1354–1358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kole, C. (2007). Fruits and nuts. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Külekçi, M., & Aksoy, A. (2013). Input–output energy analysis in pistachio production of Turkey. Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, 32(1), 128–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kuosmanen, T., & Post, T. (2001). Measuring economic efficiency with incomplete price information: With an application to European commercial banks. European Journal of Operations Research, 134(1), 43–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee, W. S. (2010). Benchmarking the energy performance for cooling purposes in buildings using a novel index-total performance of energy for cooling purposes. Energy, 35(1), 50–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mobtaker, H. G., Keyhani, A., Mohammadi, A., Rafiee, S., & Akram, A. (2010). Sensitivity analysis of energy inputs for barley production in Hamedan Province of Iran. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 137(3), 367–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mohammadi, A., Rafiee, S., Mohtasebi, S. S., MousaviAvval, S. H., & Rafiee, H. (2011). Energy efficiency improvement and input cost saving in kiwifruit production using data envelopment analysis approach. Renewable Energy, 36(9), 2573–2579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mohammadi, A., Rafiee, S., Mohtasebi, S. S., & Rafiee, H. (2010). Energy inputs–yield relationship and cost analysis of kiwifruit production in Iran. Renewable Energy, 35(5), 1071–1075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mulwa, R. (in press). Non-parametric estimation of environmental efficiency using data envelopment analysis and free disposable hull. In I. H. Osman, A. L. Anouze, & A. Emrouznejad (Eds.), Strategic measurement and management performance using data envelopment analysis: Theory and applications. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.Google Scholar
  20. Nassiri, S. M., & Singh, S. (2009). Study on energy use efficiency for paddy crop using data envelopment analysis (DEA) technique. Applied Energy, 86(7), 1320–1325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ozkan, B., Akcaoz, H., & Karadeniz, F. (2004). Energy requirement and economic analysis of citrus production in Turkey. Energy Conversion and Management, 45(11), 1821–1830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Patel, G. (2005). Essential fats in walnuts are good for the heart and diabetes. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(7), 1096–1097.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rafiee, S., Mousavi-Avval, S. H., & Mohammadi, A. (2010). Modeling and sensitivity analysis of energy inputs for apple production in Iran. Energy, 35(8), 3301–3306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Reinhard, S. (1999). Econometric analysis of economic and environmental efficiency of Dutch dairy farms. Ph.D. Thesis, Wageningen University.Google Scholar
  25. Reinhard, S., Lovell, C. A. K., & Thijssen, G. J. (2000). Environmental efficiency with multiple environmentally detrimental variables; estimated with SFA and DEA. European Journal of Operational Research, 121, 287–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wang, C. (2007). Decomposing energy productivity change: A distance function approach. Energy, 32(8), 1326–1333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zhou, N., Levine, M. D., & Price, L. (2010). Overview of current energy efficiency policies in China. Energy Policy, 38(11), 6439–6452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of AgricultureYasouj UniversityYasoujIran
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and PolicyUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations