NEW MEDIT, vol.10, no.2, pp.4-17, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
The purpose of this paper is to measure and assess, in a comparative way, the efficiency of the Turkish agricultural sector with the OECD countries in the context of sustainability for the 1990-2005 periods. An empirical method is used to make the comparison, and hence, data envelopment analysis (DEA) is applied for 23 OECD countries including Turkey. The study shows that a limited number of OECD countries like Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Slovakia succeeded in making agricultural production efficiently from 1990 to 2005. Therefore, it can be proposed that the production structures of these countries are environment friendly thus allowing sustainability in their agricultural sectors with respect to other OECD countries. However, the picture does not seem so optimistic for Japan, Poland and Turkey since their efficiency performance decelerated recently. Therefore, in order to reach agricultural sustainability, Japan, Poland and Turkey should improve the efficiency level of their production process. Moreover, Turkey can be ranked within the worst performers among the 23 OECD countries in the context of sustainable agriculture. What is more alarming is the deterioration in the efficiency performance of the country from 1995 onwards. To reverse the ongoing trend, Turkey should radically change the current structure of its agricultural production. In this context, the heavy use of both labour and machinery should be reduced to minimum. Alternatively, the country may concentrate on the supply side of the economy without ignoring further declines in the greenhouse gas emissions.