Evaluation of arid land food production systems : strategies for Saudi Arabian agriculture
Arid regions agriculture -- Decision making -- Computer programs.
Agricultural productivity -- Saudi Arabia -- Decision making -- Computer programs.
Agriculture and state -- Saudi Arabia -- Decision making -- Computer programs.
Agricultural systems -- Saudi Arabia -- Decision making -- Computer programs.
Committee ChairFogel, Martin M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is based upon a research project designed to identify and evaluate alternative agricultural systems which are applicable to the arid environment of Saudi Arabia within a multiobjective context. The four systems are: traditional; conventional; aridity-oriented; and, controlled environment. These systems differ in their utilization of basic resources, the the amount and type of food they produce, the profits they generate and their compatibility with Saudi Arabian social traditions. Thus, the environmental and sociological consequences of their implementation were considered along with production and economic aspects. The procedure for evaluating the alternative agricultural systems is a computer program called ESAP (Evaluation and Sensitivity Analysis Program) which uses multi-attribute theory as an aid to decision making. Computations to determine the extent of that achievement are essentially a weighting of the variables identified as subdivisions of the goals. Decision makers are also required to give the relative values to the variables, and to select a particular utility function which describes the relationship between value and utility. The values assigned to each variable are usually presented as a range to express the users' uncertainty. Six consultants (five university professors plus the author) with varying professional backgrounds and knowledge of Saudi Arabian conditions were used as individual and collective decision makers to evaluate the four agricultural systems and their combinations. The procedure resulted in grouping these ten different alternatives (four systems plus combinations of any two) into three independent classes: I, Il and III. The grouping was based upon obtaining a clear distinction in overall score between the classes. The grouping into classes resulted in the aridity-oriented agricultural system being the only alternative in Class I. The consultants felt that this system offered the most favorable tradeoff between the economic benefits and the social and environmental factors. In general, the study indicated that the protection of natural resources and the maintenance of cultural factors should be given significant influence along with the economic factors in evaluating a particular plan of action. In utilizing such a procedure, the need for additional data and research became very evident, if there is to be better allocation of the Kingdom's agricultural resources.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramArid Land Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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