Assessing efficiency of dairy goat farms by performance evaluation and benchmarking

Published: Οκτ 27, 2022
Updated: 2022-10-27
2022-10-27 (3)
Technical Efficiency Goat farming Data Envelopment Analysis
A Batzios
A Theodoridis
A Semos
T Bournaris

The efficiency of goat farming sector in Greece is analyzed in this study. A survey was carried out in 96 goat farms, randomly selected in the area of Macedonia and Thrace, Greece. Accounting data were recorded through face-to-face interviews with farmers and Data Envelopment Analysis was applied to estimate technical efficiency (TE) of goat farms. The mean TE estimated at 0.791, indicating that input savings of 20.9% could be achieved. 75% of the goat farms are deemed as inefficient. The gross revenue varies considerably between efficient and inefficient farms, with the first achieving €210.09 and inefficient farms €143.41/doe. Farm size classification reveals significant difference of TE among groups of small and medium sized farms (P≤0.05). The analysis of the existing structure of the farms, compared to the optimal plan resulted from DEA, shows that farms could achieve higher economic results, through a rational use of the available inputs.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Research Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Author Biography
A Batzios, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki AUTh, Greece

School of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics

Arsenos. G., Gelasakis. A., Pinopoulos. S., Giannakou, R. and Amarantidis, A. (2014) “Description and typology of dairy goat farms in Greece”, in Proceedings of the 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, pp.571-574.
Banker R.D., Charnes A. and Cooper W.W. (1984) “Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiency in Data Envelopment Analysis”, Management Science, Vol. 30, pp. 1078-1092.
Charnes, A., Cooper, W.W. and Rhodes, E. (1978) “Measuring the efficiency of Decision-Making Units)”, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol 2 No. 6, pp.429–444.
Charnes, A., Cooper, W.W. and Rhodes, E. (1979) “Short communication: Measuring the efficiency of Decision-Making Units”, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol 3 No. 4, p.339
ELSTAT (2018) Livestock and Livestock Products 2018. Hellenic Statistical Authority Digital Library.
ELSTAT (2019) Livestock Surveys 2019. Hellenic Statistical Authority Digital Library.
ELSTAT (2020) Livestock surveys (pigs-bovines-sheep-sheep-goats-eggs): year 2019. Hellenic Statistical Authority Digital Library.
FAO (2021) FAOSTAT, Food and agriculture data. Statistical Databases. (Accessed 1 April 2021)
Fousekis, P., Spathis, P. and Tsimboukas, K. (2001) “Assessing the Efficiency of Sheep Farming in Mountainous Areas of Greece. A Non-Parametric Approach”, Agricultural Economics Review, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp.1-11.
Galanopoulos, K., Abas, Z., Laga, V., Hatziminaoglou, I. and Boyazoglu, J. (2011) “The technical efficiency of transhumance sheep and goat farms and the effect of EU subsidies: Do small farms benefit more than large farms?”, Small Ruminant Research, Vol.100, pp.1-7.
Gelasakis, A., Rose, G., Giannakou, R., Valergakis, G.E., Theodoridis, A., Fortomaris, P. and Arsenos, G. (2017) “Typology and evolution of dairy goat production systems in Greece”, Livestock Science, Vol.197, pp.22-29.
Gül, M., Demircan, V., Yilmaz, Has. and Yilmaz Hil. (2016) “Technical efficiency of goat farming in Turkey: a case study of Isparta province”. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia , Vol. 45 No. 6, pp.328-335.
Jalali, A., Bagheri, A., Allahyari, M.S., Aghjehgheshlagh, F.M., Surjulal, J. and Michailidis, A. (2020) “Information needs and information seeking behavior of dairy farm managers”. International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, Vol.6 No.2, pp.107-122. DOI: 10.1504/IJSAMI.2020.108359
Kitsopanidis, G. (2002) Economics of goat farming in Greece. New Medit, Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp.48–53.
Kounetas, K. and Hadjistamoulou, N. (2015) Introduction to Operational Research and Linear Programming. Solving problems using the R Programme [online]. Athens: Hellenic Academic Libraries Link. (Accessed 21 May 2021].
Laliotis G. (2018) “Structural weaknesses of Greek sheep and goat farming: a technocratic approach or just a scientific issue?”, ELGO-Dimitra Magazine, Issue 24, p.5 (In Greek).
Liontakis A. (2015) “Introduction to Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA)”, Interactive seminar for doctoral candidates in Agricultural Economics, available at: (In Greek).
Miliadou D. (2010) Economic and environmental approach of the organic sheep and goat sector in Greece. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (In Greek).
Papadopoulou, A., Ragkos, A., Theodoridis, A., Skordos, D., Parissi Z. and Abraham, E. (2021) “Evaluation of the Contribution of Pastures on the Economic Sustainability of Small Ruminant Farms in a Typical Greek Area”, Agronomy, 11(1), 63 [online] (Accepted 26 December 2020).
Pappa, E.C., Kondyli, E., Sotirakoglou, K., Bosnea, L., Mataragas, M., Allouche, L., Tsiplakou, E., Pappas, A.C. (2021) “Farmers Profile and Characterization of Sheep and Goat Dairy Chain in Northwestern Greece”. Sustainability, Vol. 13, 833.
Psychoudakis A. and Τheodoridis A. (2006) “A Full-Scale Application of DEA to Sheep-goat Farming in Greece”. Agricοltura Mediterranea, Vol. 136 No.1, pp.52-62.
Pulina, G., Milan, M.J., Lavin, M.P., Theodoridis, A., Morin, E., Capote, J., Thomas, D.L., Francesconi, A.H.D. and Caja, G. (2018) Invited review: “Current production trends, farms structures, and economics of the dairy sheep and goat sectors”, Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 101, pp.1-15.
Rezitis, A., Tsiboukas, K. and Tsoukalas, S. (2002) “Measuring Technical Efficiency in Greek Agricultural Sector”, Applied Economics, Vol. 34, No. 11, pp.1345-1357.
Setyorini, E., Soepranianondo, K. and Hidanah, S. (2017) “Efficiency Production Cost of Goat Farming in the Lowland and the Highland Areas in Mojo Sub-district of Kediri Regency”. International Journal of Environmental & Agriculture Research (IJOEAR), ISSN: [2454-1850], Vol.3, Issue-12, pp.27-31.
Thanassoulis, E, Portela, M. and Despić, O. (2008) “Data envelopment analysis: The mathematical programming approach to efficiency analysis”, in Fried, H.O., Knox Lovell, C.A. and Schmidt, S.S. (eds.), The measurement of productive efficiency and productivity growth, Oxford University Press, New York, pp.251-420.
Theocharopoulos A., Melfou, K., Papanagiotou, E. (2007) “A microeconomic approach for agricultural development: A DEA application to Greek sheep farms”, New Medit, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp.48-54.
Theocharopoulos, A. (2009) Economic and environmental analysis of alternative forms of agriculture. Unpublished PhD thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (In Greek).
Theodoridis, A., Psychoudakis, A., and Christofi, A. (2006) “Data envelopment analysis as a complement to marginal analysis”. Agricultural Economic Review, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp.55–65.
Theodoridis A. (2008) Effects of the existing policy in the dairy cow sector. Unpublished PhD thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (In Greek).
Theodoridis, A., Ragkos, A., Roustemis, D., Galanopoulos, Κ., Abas, Ζ.and Sinapis, E. (2012) “Assessing Technical Efficiency of Chios Sheep Farms with Data Envelopment Analysis”, Small Ruminant Research, Vol. 107, pp.85-91.
Theodoridis, A., Batzios, C., Ragkos, A. and Angelidis, P. (2017) “Technical efficiency measurement of mussel aquaculture in Greece”, Aquaculture International, Vol. 25, pp.1025-1037.
Theodoridis A., A. Tafidou, G. Koutouzidou, E. Morin, G. Arsenos (2018) “Best observed practices in efficient farms: How Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) can serve as an innovation identification tool”. Paper presented at the 1st European Symposium on Livestock Farming in Mountain Areas, 20-22 June 2018, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy.
Theodoridis, A., Ragkos, A., Zaralis, K., Smith, L. and Arsenos, G. (2019) “Towards a Pan-european typology of sheep and goat farms: a meta-analysis”, Joint Seminar of the Sub-Network on Production Systems & Sub-Network on Nutrition, Innovation for Sustainability in Sheep and Goats, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, 3-5 October 2017, Options Méditerranéennes A, No. 123, pp.65-69.
Tsiouni, M. (2018) Financial structure and efficiency of the goat industry. Unpublished PhD thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (In Greek).
Twumasi, M.A., Jiang, Y., Danquah, F.O., Frempong, L.N., Ankrah, E.K. and Dogbe, B.S. (2020) “Efficiency analysis of goat producers in Ghana: An instrumental variable approach”. Custos e @gronegócio [on line] - v. 16 n. 2, Apr/Jun. - 2020, pp.345-360.
Vlontzos, G. (2015) “Measuring efficiency of the Greek flourmill firms using data envelopment analysis”. International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, Vol.1 No.1, pp.61-75. DOI: 10.1504/IJSAMI.2015.069046
Voltsou, A. (2005) Agricultural Production Systems and Agricultural Policy in Mountainous and Disadvantaged Areas of the Country. Unpublished PhD thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (In Greek).
Vouraki, S. (2019) Evaluation of the productive characteristics of goats resistant to classical scrapie. Unpublished PhD thesis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (In Greek).
Zhu, J. (2009) Quantitative Models for Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking: Data Envelopment Analysis with Spreadsheets, 2nd ed., Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland.
Zolman, J. (1993) Biostatistics. Experimental Design and Statistical Inference, Oxford University Press, New York.
Zygogiannis, D. and Katsaounis, N. (2009) Goat farming (Issue B), Synchroni Paideia Publications, Thessaloniki, Greece (In Greek).