Technical and economic evaluation of the olive oil value chain in the semi-arid zones: The case of the Tiaret region (Western Algeria)

The development of agriculture in the world’s arid regions has always faced specific economic and environmental constraints. This study aims to evaluate the performance of the olive oil value chain in the semi-arid zones of Algeria (Tiaret); by carrying out a technical and economic analysis of this sector, in order to establish optimization strategies. The data was gathered through surveys of local olive growers and oleifactors. The results showed that olive growing in semi-arid areas is a profitable and economically efficient activity. Thus, one hectare of olive trees grown in a semi-arid area brings in nearly 7000 €/year to olive growers of the region, with a high economic efficiency coefficient reaching 4.4 in intensive systems. The encountered constraints are mainly localized upstream of the value chain and particularly affect the cultivation techniques used. Indeed, the production costs represent nearly 70% of the total charges. They are mainly affected by the costs of harvesting, phytosanitary treatment, and irrigation, which occupy 25%, 18%, and 16% of direct costs, respectively. The principal component analysis confirmed the results of the economic study on the data set.