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# A Comparative Study on Energy Use and Cost Analysis of Rice Varieties Under Traditional and Semi-Mechanized Farming Systems in North of Iran

By Ebrahim Azarpour and Maral Moraditochaee

Submitted: November 15th 2011Reviewed: June 29th 2012Published: April 30th 2013

DOI: 10.5772/51165

## 1. Introduction

Rice is an important food crop for a large proportion of the world’s population. It is staple food in the diet of the population of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Rice provides 35-60% of the dietary calories consumed by more than 3 billion people [12]. Globally, it is also the second most cultivated cereal after wheat. Unlike wheat, 95% of the world’s rice is grown in less developed nations, primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China and India are the largest rice producing and consuming countries in the world. By the year 2025, it is estimated that it will be necessary to produce about 60% more rice than what is currently produced to meet the food needs of a growing world population. In addition, the land available for crop production is decreasing steadily due to urban growth and land degradation. Hence, increases in rice production will have to come from the same or an even less amount of land. This means appropriate rice production practices should be adopted to improve rice yield per unit area [13]. Guilan province has allocated more 35 and 42 percent of paddy production and cultivation land area cultivation area of Iran, respectively. In this province more than 181 exploiters on productive and talented areas with more than 230000 hectares, are busy rice farming [26]. Indeed, rice cultivation is considered the most important agricultural activity in this province and the economy of the province is also based on agriculture, with rice cultivation in top. Most of the under cultivation area of local varieties in Guilan are including Hashemi and Alikazemi. Most of the under cultivation area of breed varieties in Guilan are including Khazar, Hybrid and Gohar.

The system of agricultural productions in the world has been deeply changed because of using mechanization, chemical fertilizers and poisons and reformed seeds and as a result considerable changes in the direction of consumed energy in agricultural section have been created and caused higher relationship to the energy of fossil fuel. This change in the pattern of energy consumption has created problems include warming environment results from green house gases and water and soil pollutions and etc. Nowadays, agricultural sector for providing more food needed the population increase like other sectors has depended to energy sources like electricity and fossil fuels [14]. Energy has been a key input of agriculture since the age of subsistence agriculture. It is an established fact worldwide that agricultural production is positively correlated with energy input [28]. Agriculture is both a producer and consumer of energy. It uses large quantities of locally available non-commercial energy, such as seed, manure and animate energy, as well as commercial energies, directly and indirectly, in the form of diesel, electricity, fertilizer, plant protection, chemical, irrigation water, machinery etc. Efficient use of these energies helps to achieve increased production and productivity and contributes to the profitability and competitiveness of agriculture sustainability in rural living [28]. Energy use in agriculture has been increasing in response to increasing population, limited supply of arable land and a desire for higher standards of living [18]. However, more intensive energy use has brought some important human health and environment problems so efficient use of inputs has become important in terms of sustainable agricultural production [31]. Recently, environmental problems resulting from energy production, conversion and utilization increased public awareness in all sectors of the public, industry and government in both developed and developing countries It is predicted that fossil fuels will be the primary source of energy for the next several decades [8, 9]. The level of fossil fuel dependence differs significantly between developed and developing countries. Although total primary fossil energy input into farm production is comparable between developed countries and developing countries, as illustrated in “Figure 1”, developed countries use more than four times the energy per capita (8.0 gigajoules/capita/year) than developing countries (1.7 GJ/capita/year). Moreover, Figure 5 further reveals very different distribution of energy use across agricultural inputs. For developing countries, nitrogen fertilizer accounts for more than half the energy inputs, with fuel and irrigation forming the next largest inputs. By contrast, in developed countries, fuel and machinery account for more than half the inputs, with nitrogen accounting for about one quarter. Efficient use of resources is one of the major assets of eco-efficient and sustainable production, in agriculture [10]. Energy use is one of the key indicators for developing more sustainable agricultural practices [29] and efficient use of energy is one of the principal requirements of sustainable agriculture [18]. It is important, therefore, to analyses cropping systems in energy terms and to evaluate alternative solutions, especially for arable crops, which account for more than half of the primary sector energy consumption [27].

Agricultural systems are complex, and understanding this complexity requires systematic research, but resources for agricultural research are limited. The field experiments investigate a number of variables under a few site-specific conditions. Crop simulation models consider the complex interactions of weather, soil properties, and management factors, which influence crop performance. Mechanistic models are very helpful in deciding the best management options for optimizing crop growth and the yield. In the middle of 1990s, Rice Research Institute of Iran (IRRI), Wageningen University, and the Research Centre developed the ORYZA model series to simulate the growth and development of tropical lowland rice. In 2001, a new version of the ORYZA model was released that improved and incorporated all previous versions into one model called ORYZA2000 [7]. The model ORYZA2000, simulates the growth and development of rice under conditions of potential production, water and nitrogen limitations.

The aims of the study were to survey input energy in local and breed varieties rice production under two farming systems condition (traditional and semi-mechanized), to investigate the energy consumption and to make an economic analysis of rice in Guilan province of Iran.

## 2. Materials and methods

In order to gather the required data in this study, information related to 72 farms in Guilan province during the agricultural year 2010 was studied. The Location of studied region in north of Iran was presented in “Figure 2”. The random sampling of production agro ecosystems was done within whole population and the size of each sample was determined by using bottom equation [18].

n=N×s2×t2(N1)d2+s2+t2

In the formula, n is the required sample size, s is the standard deviation, t is the t value at 95% confidence limit (1.96), N is the number of holding in target population and d is the acceptable error.

Cultivated varieties in these farms include local varieties (Hashemi and Alikazemi) and breed varieties (Khazar, Hybrid (GRH1) and Gohar (SA13)). Farming methods in these farms include traditional system and semi-mechanized system. In semi-mechanized system in addition to tiller and thrasher, transforming machine and reaping machine are used for plant out and reaping respectively.

Efficient use of the energy resources is vital in terms of increasing production, productivity, competitiveness of agriculture as well as sustainability of rural living. Energy auditing is one of the most common approaches to examining energy efficiency and environmental impact of the production system. It enables researchers to calculate output-input ratio, relevant indicators, and energy use patterns in an agricultural activity. Moreover, the energy audit provides sufficient data to establish functional forms to investigate the relationship between energy inputs and outputs. The amount of inputs used in agricultural production practices (human labor, machinery, diesel fuel, chemical fertilizers, poison fertilizers, water and seeds) were calculated per hectare and then, these data were converted to forms of energy to evaluate the output-input analysis. In order to calculate output and input energy, these input data and amount of output yield were multiplied with the coefficient of energy equivalent. Energy equivalents of inputs and output were converted into energy on area unit. The previous researches “Table 1” were used to determine the energy equivalents’ coefficients [15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31]. Firstly, the amounts of inputs used in the production of rice were specified in order to calculate the energy equivalences in the study. Energy input include human labor, machinery, diesel fuel, chemical fertilizer, chemical poison, water and seed amounts and output yield include paddy of rice.

In this research, energy indices (energy use efficiency, energy ratio, energy productivity, energy intensity, net energy gain and water and energy productivity) based on the energy equivalents of the inputs and output “Table 2” were calculated according to bottom equations [15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31].

Energy use efficiency=Output energy (Mj/ha)Input energy (Mj/ha)

Energy production=Grain yield (Kg/ha)Input energy (Mj/ha)

Energy specific=Input energy (Mj/ha)Grain yield (Kg/ha)

Water and energy productivity=Yield output (Kg/ha)Water applied (M3/ha) × Input energy (Mj/ha)

Net energy gain=Output energy (Mj/ha)Input energy (Mj/ha)

The input energy is also classified into direct and indirect and renewable and non-renewable forms energy equivalents for different inputs and outputs in agricultural production. Indirect energy consists of seeds, chemical fertilizer, chemical poison, and machinery energy while direct energy covered human labor, water and diesel fuel used in the rice production. Non-renewable energy includes diesel fuel, chemical fertilizer, chemical poison and machinery and renewable energy consists of human labor, water and seed [2, 4, 5, 6].

 Parameter Hashemi Alikazemi Khazar Hybrid Gohar Energy equivalent Traditional system Input Human labor (h/ha) 94.3 94.3 94.3 94.3 94.3 1.96 Machinery (h/ha) 37.2 37.2 37.2 37.2 37.2 62.7 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 127.2 127.2 127.2 127.2 127.2 56.31 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 125 125 180 230 230 69.5 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 60 60 80 100 100 12.44 Potassium (kg/ha) 110 110 150 200 200 11.15 Herbicide (l/ha) 3 3 3 3 3 85 Fungicide (l/ha) 2 2 2 2 2 160 Insecticide (l/ha) 2 2 1 1 1 99 Water (m3/ha) 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 1.02 Seed (kg/ha) 90 90 70 30 30 17 Output Paddy (kg/ha) 3520 4180 4840 6600 8360 14.7 Straw (kg/ha) 4437 5706 6607 9010 11413 12.5 Husk (kg/ha) 813 1045 1210 1650 2090 13.8 Biomass (kg/ha) 8770 10931 12657 17260 21863 13.67 Semi-mechanized system Input Human labor (h/ha) 73.7 73.7 73.7 73.7 73.7 1.96 Machinery (h/ha) 47.3 47.3 47.3 47.3 47.3 62.7 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 142.1 142.1 142.1 142.1 142.1 56.31 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 125 125 180 230 230 69.5 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 60 60 80 100 100 12.44 Potassium (kg/ha) 110 110 150 200 200 11.15 Herbicide (l/ha) 3 3 3 3 3 85 Fungicide (l/ha) 2 2 2 2 2 160 Insecticide (l/ha) 2 2 1 1 1 99 Water (m3/ha) 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 1.02 Seed (kg/ha) 70 70 50 20 20 17 Output Paddy (kg/ha) 4000 4750 5500 7500 9500 14.7 Straw (kg/ha) 5461 6485 7508 10239 12969 12.5 Husk (kg/ha) 1000 1188 1375 1875 2375 13.8 Biomass (kg/ha) 10461 12423 14383 19614 24844 13.67

### Table 1.

Amounts of input-output used and energy equivalent in varieties rice production under traditional system and semi-mechanized system condition

 Parameter Hashemi Alikazemi Khazar Hybrid Gohar Traditional system Input Human labor (h/ha) 184.83 184.83 184.83 184.83 184.83 Machinery (h/ha) 2332.44 2332.44 2332.44 2332.44 2332.44 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 7162.63 7162.63 7162.63 7162.63 7162.63 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 8687.5 8687.5 12510 15985 15985 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 746.4 746.4 995.2 1244 1244 Potassium (kg/ha) 1226.5 1226.5 1672.5 2230 2230 Herbicide (l/ha) 255 255 255 255 255 Fungicide (l/ha) 320 320 320 320 320 Insecticide (l/ha) 198 198 99 99 99 Water (m3/ha) 10200 10200 10200 10200 10200 Seed (kg/ha) 1530 1530 1190 510 510 Output Paddy (kg/ha) 51744 61446 71148 97020 122892 Straw (kg/ha) 55463 71325 82588 112625 142663 Husk (kg/ha) 11219 14421 16698 22770 28842 Biomass (kg/ha) 119857 149390 172979 235887 298794 Semi-mechanized system Input Human labor (h/ha) 144.45 144.45 144.45 144.45 144.45 Machinery (h/ha) 2965.71 2965.71 2965.71 2965.71 2965.71 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 8001.65 8001.65 8001.65 8001.65 8001.65 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 8687.5 8687.5 12510 15985 15985 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 746.4 746.4 995.2 1244 1244 Potassium (kg/ha) 1226.5 1226.5 1672.5 2230 2230 Herbicide (l/ha) 255 255 255 255 255 Fungicide (l/ha) 320 320 320 320 320 Insecticide (l/ha) 198 198 99 99 99 Water (m3/ha) 10200 10200 10200 10200 10200 Seed (kg/ha) 1190 1190 850 340 340 Output Paddy (kg/ha) 58800 69825 80850 110250 139650 Straw (kg/ha) 68263 81063 93850 127988 162113 Husk (kg/ha) 13800 16394 18975 25875 32775 Biomass (kg/ha) 142967 169781 196568 268058 339535

### Table 2.

Input-output energy for varieties rice under traditional system and semi-mechanized system condition

In order to calculate energy balance indices, these input data and amount of output yield were multiplied with the coefficient of energy balance equivalent. Energy balance equivalents of inputs and output were converted into energy on area unit. The previous researches “Table 3” were used to determine the energy balance equivalents’ coefficients [2, 4, 5, 6] By using of consumed data as inputs and total production as output, and their concern equivalent energy, indicators of energy balance were calculated “Table 4”.

 Parameter Hashemi Alikazemi Khazar Hybrid Gohar Energy balance equivalent Traditional system Input Human labor (h/ha) 848.7 848.7 848.7 848.7 848.7 500 Machinery (h/ha) 37.2 37.2 37.2 37.2 37.2 90000 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 127.2 127.2 127.2 127.2 127.2 9237 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 57.5 57.5 82.8 105.8 105.8 17600 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 12.6 12.6 16.8 21 21 3190 Potassium (kg/ha) 45.1 45.1 61.5 82 82 1600 Chemical Poison (l/ha) 5 5 5 5 5 27170 Water (m3/ha) 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 272.2 Seed (kg/ha) 90 90 70 30 30 6513 Depreciation for per diesel fuel (L) 106.85 106.85 106.85 106.85 106.85 9583 Semi-mechanized system Input Human labor (h/ha) 663.3 663.3 663.3 663.3 663.3 500 Machinery (h/ha) 47.3 47.3 47.3 47.3 47.3 90000 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 142.1 142.1 142.1 142.1 142.1 9237 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 57.5 57.5 82.8 105.8 105.8 17600 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 12.6 12.6 16.8 21 21 3190 Potassium (kg/ha) 45.1 45.1 61.5 82 82 1600 Chemical Poison (l/ha) 5 5 5 5 5 27170 Water (m3/ha) 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 272.2 Seed (kg/ha) 70 70 50 20 20 6513 Depreciation for per diesel fuel (L) 119.36 119.36 119.36 119.36 119.36 9583

### Table 3.

Amounts of input used and energy balance equivalent in varieties rice production under traditional system and semi-mechanized system condition

 Parameter Hashemi Alikazemi Khazar Hybrid Gohar Traditional system Input Parameter Hashemi Alikazemi Khazar Hybrid Gohar Human labor (h/ha) 424350 424350 424350 424350 424350 Machinery (h/ha) 3348000 3348000 3348000 3348000 3348000 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 1174946 1174946 1174946 1174946 1174946 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 1012000 1012000 1457280 1862080 1862080 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 40194 40194 53592 66990 66990 Potassium (kg/ha) 72160 72160 98400 131200 131200 Chemical Poison (l/ha) 135850 135850 135850 135850 135850 Water (m3/ha) 2722000 2722000 2722000 2722000 2722000 Seed (kg/ha) 586170 586170 455910 195390 195390 Depreciation for per diesel fuel (L) 1023924 1023924 1023924 1023924 1023924 Semi-mechanized system Input Human labor (h/ha) 331650 331650 331650 331650 331650 Machinery (h/ha) 4257000 4257000 4257000 4257000 4257000 Diesel fuel (l/ha) 1312578 1312578 1312578 1312578 1312578 Nitrogen (kg/ha) 1012000 1012000 1457280 1862080 1862080 Phosphorus(kg/ha) 40194 40194 53592 66990 66990 Potassium (kg/ha) 72160 72160 98400 131200 131200 Chemical Poison (l/ha) 135850 135850 135850 135850 135850 Water (m3/ha) 2722000 2722000 2722000 2722000 2722000 Seed (kg/ha) 455910 455910 325650 130260 130260 Depreciation for per diesel fuel (L) 1143865 1143865 1143865 1143865 1143865

### Table 4.

Input energy in varieties rice production under traditional and semi-mechanized system condition from calculated indicators of energy balance energy

Cluster analysis and correlation analysis of energy indices and balance energy indices for rice production were obtained by SPSS software. Yield function of paddy yield, straw yield, husk yield and biomass yield for rice production was obtained by STATISCA software. Simulation growth indices of rice cultivars were obtained by model ORYZA2000 “Figure 3” [7].

In the last part of the study, the economic analysis of varieties rice production under traditional and semi-mechanized system condition was investigated. Net profit, gross profit and benefit to cost ratio was calculated. The gross value of production, net return and benefit to cost ratio were calculated using the following equations (Mohammadi et al., 2008):

Gross value of production ($/ha) = Yield (kg/ha) × Sale price ($/kg)

## 4. Conclusion

Consider that breed varieties rice and semi-mechanized farming system are suitable case for increasing production of rice according to the limitation of rice fields of Guilan province (Iran). Identifying the way of developing and exploitation, energy indicators in agricultural section of Iran either in the light of having weak economical fundamentals or in the light of strict competition in global scene for obtaining better economical condition, helps that we lead our resources and facilities of our production in a direction that can obtain our suitable place in international occasions faster. According to the results of this research and studying the energy and economic analysis, we can say that the condition of the management of energy consumption in producing breed varieties (Khazar, Hybrid (GRH1) and Gohar (SA13)) are more suitable and according to the need of country about producing rice and limitation of energy sources which are mainly nonrenewable energy, producing breed varieties is a step towards sustainable agriculture.

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Ebrahim Azarpour and Maral Moraditochaee (April 30th 2013). A Comparative Study on Energy Use and Cost Analysis of Rice Varieties Under Traditional and Semi-Mechanized Farming Systems in North of Iran, Biomass Now - Sustainable Growth and Use, Miodrag Darko Matovic, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/51165. Available from:

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