The island of Sicily has a long standing tradition in citrus growing. We evaluated the sustainability oforange and lemon orchards, under organic and conventional farming, using an energy, environmentaland economic analysis of the whole production cycle by using a life cycle assessment approach. Theseorchard systems differ only in terms of a few of the inputs used and the duration of the various agriculturaloperations. The quantity of energy consumption in the production cycle was calculated bymultiplying the quantity of inputs used by the energy conversion factors drawn from the literature. Theproduction costs were calculated considering all internal costs, including equipment, materials, wages,and costs of working capital. The performance of the two systems (organic and conventional), wascompared over a period of fifty years. The results, based on unit surface area (ha) production, prove thestronger sustainability of the organic over the conventional system, both in terms of energy consumptionand environmental impact, especially for lemons. The sustainability of organic systems is mainly due tothe use of environmentally friendly crop inputs (fertilizers, not use of synthetic products, etc.). In termsof production costs, the conventional management systems were more expensive, and both systemswere heavily influenced by wages. In terms of kg of final product, the organic production system showedbetter environmental and energy performances.
|Numero di pagine||9|
|Rivista||Journal of Environmental Management|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2013|
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