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Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
38, No. 3, 2014; Pages: 317-335

Energy Indicators for Organic Livestock Production: A Case Study from Andalusia, Southern Spain

David Pérez Neiraa*, Marta Soler Montielb & Xavier Simón Fernándezc

Department of Economy and Quantitative Method , University of Pablo de Olavide , Sevilla , Spain.


This work analyzes the energy performance of organic livestock farming in Andalusia (Spain), both as an industry and by type of livestock, through the application of the energy analysis methodology adapted in this article to the study of the organic livestock farming. From this perspective, it is possible to observe that organic livestock farming has a great capacity to use resources and generate outputs in the form of products of animal origin and, especially, manure, which is an important resource for agricultural fertilization. The energy efficiency of organiclivestock farming in Andalusia is estimated at 0.08. If the manure reused by agriculture is considered an output, the efficiency of the industry reaches 0.32. Also, 28% of the energy consumed by the industry is nonrenewable and the energy efficiency in relation to the use of nonrenewable energy is estimated at 1.38. By type of livestock, the energy efficiency in relation to the use of nonrenewable energy is estimated at 1.78, 1.62, 0.84, 0.57, 0.22 for goats, cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry. These results show the capacity of extensive organic livestock farmingto reduce energy costs and improve its energy efficiency.

Keywords:organic livestock; livestock energy analysis; energy efficiency; energy indicators.



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