A comparison of energy use in conventional and organic olive production in Kaz Mountains, Çanakkale, Türkiye.
Agriculture is one of the biggest sectors and energy consumption during agricultural production causes a release of 11 % of greenhouse gasses leading to climate change. Since after the industrialization of agriculture, farming systems shifted towards high-intensity farming, yet in Türkiye, traditional farming methods continue. In this study we compare the energy efficiency of organic vs. conventional olive groves in Kaz Mountains, Türkiye. 71 farmers were interviewed face-to-face in two subsequent years and the energy efficiency of the olive production process was calculated as the ratio of the energy spent during farming to the energy content of the fruit. Fuel use was calculated under the direct energy input, whereas production processes of fertilizer, agricultural machinery, maintenance and repair, human and animal labor were calculated under indirect energy inputs. Here we show that conventional olive production was less energy efficient due to the high indirect energy input during the production of synthetic fertilizers. There was no relationship between the energy input and yield, showing that production of olives is possible with less energy input. This study shows that by improving energy efficiency, the technical performance of agricultural systems can be increased and their negative impact on the environment can be reduced.