Resource Use Efficiency

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In agriculture, the term ‘resource use efficiency’ may be broadly defined to include three allied concepts viz. technical efficiency, allocative efficiency and environmental efficiency (Haque, 2006: 64). Analytically, technical efficiency means maximising output for given input (at the level of production possibility frontier). Allocative efficiency implies that the usage of input is minimised. Environmental efficiency, which has nowadays acquired critical relevance, implies that the production process should be sustainable. It is possible that a production process is not sustainable over time. For instance, using more water than that is replenished can reduce the ground water level which can have an adverse impact on the cultivation of crops in the subsequent years. Or, inappropriate use of fertilisers can lead to salinity affecting the soil quality. With climate change, adverse implication could also be because of activities outside the production process.

At any given time, for given prices, the allocative efficiency (AE) is the ratio of ‘marginal value of product per unit input’ to ‘marginal cost per unit input’ (i.e. AE = MVP/MC). AE is optimal at unity. The overall economic efficiency (EE) is a product of technical efficiency and allocative efficiency (EE = TE*AE). If the latter (i.e. AE) is unity, then economic efficiency is the same as technical efficiency, that is, one ensures maximum income at least cost (Fan,1999, Jha et al, 2000).
Factor Combination and Resource Substitution
It is possible for a farmer to produce Y quantity of paddy using X11 units of land and units of labour. Suppose, other things remaining same, it is also possible for the X21 Suppose, other things remaining same, it is also possible for the farmer to produce the same quantity of paddy using a different combination of land, X12, and labour, X22. Assuming that the farmer rents in…...

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