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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Is the technical efficiency green? The environmental efficiency of agricultural production in the MENA region

Huang, Wei; Liu, Qian; Hatab, Assem Abu


There is widespread recognition of the global environmental impact of agricultural production on greenhouse gas emissions, but evidence is sparse regarding the impact in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In this study, we treat agricultural emissions as an undesirable output from agricultural production and apply the directional distance function to measure environmentally-adjusted technical efficiency, defined as environmental efficiency in agricultural production, in six countries in the MENA region (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia) during the period 1980-2016. The results show that all six countries have clear scope to improve their environmental efficiency. Agricultural production is greener in Jordan and Israel, while envi-ronmental efficiency is currently lowest in Egypt and Morocco. Estimated relative shadow price of agricultural emissions is-1.002, implying that the 'cost' of removing agricultural emissions is almost equal to the value of producing one unit of good output. These findings suggest there is a trade-off between agriculture emissions and production, which should be considered in efforts to enhance the sustainability of agricultural production in the MENA region.


Directional distance function; Technical efficiency; Shadow price; Elasticity

Published in

Journal of Environmental Management
2023, Volume: 327, article number: 116820

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

      Publication identifier


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