Implications of adoption of zero tillage (ZT) on productive efficiency and production risk of wheat production

Tamer El-Shater, Amin Mugera, Yigezu A. Yigezu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The impacts of zero tillage (ZT) on soil physical, biological, and chemical properties have been fairly documented in the literature. However, there is still an information gap in the developing world in general and in integrated crop-livestock production systems in dry areas of the world in particular. Using a sample of 621 farmers in Syria, this study assessed the implications of adoption of ZT technology on productive efficiency, input-specific resource use efficiency, and production risk. A stochastic production frontier model, which explicitly and simultaneously accounts for technical inefficiency and production risk, was used to estimate total factor and input-specific technical efficiencies and the risk of obtaining lower levels of yields for each of the sampled farms. Model results show that adoption of ZT proved to be an effective risk management strategy in this dryland production system, where it led to 95% and 33.3% reductions in the risk of obtaining wheat yield levels below 1000 kg/ha and 1500 kg/ha, respectively. Overall, the results have a clear indication that using ZT leads to improvements in productive efficiency as the adoption of ZT led to 93% reduction in the risk of obtaining efficiency levels below 40%. Future research will be needed to shed light on whether coupling ZT with the other components of conservation agriculture will reverse some of these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3640
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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