Olive growing scenarios of soil management: integrating environmental, economic and social indicators from a life-cycle perspective
Sustainability assessment of agricultural systems requires holistic and integrated approaches that should consider, simultaneously, environmental, economic and social aspects. In Calabria (southern Italy), olive growing is usually performed by small- and medium-scale farms with traditional systems characterized by low productivity, low levels of mechanization and, therefore, high production costs and, often, social impacts on workers and local communities. From an environmental point of view, soil erosion represents one of the most common problems associated with olive farming. Hence, methodological tools able to measure the different dimensions of sustainability and to integrate them are needed to suggest more efficient management strategies providing for suitable trade-offs. This work evaluates different soil management practices in olive growing scenarios through the integration of life-cycle-based methodologies NDASH life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC) and social life cycle assessment (sLCA) NDASH with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) technique, which belongs to the framework of multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA). Moreover, the use of this participatory technique allows us to define the importance (in terms of weight) of the sustainability indicators considered, making the results more locally relevant.
De Luca, A.I., Iofrida, N., Falcone, G., Stillitano, T. and Gulisano, G. (2018). Olive growing scenarios of soil management: integrating environmental, economic and social indicators from a life-cycle perspective. Acta Hortic. 1199, 209-214
soil management, olive growing, life cycle methodologies, multicriteria decision analysis, analytic hierarchy process (AHP), participation, sustainability assessment