The Economic Estimation of Cost Functions in the Long Run and Scale Economies of Almonds in Homs Governorate

Khetam Idris*(1)

(1). Homs Research Center, General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(*Corresponding author: Dr. Khetam Idris. E-Mail:

Received: 22/09/2017                                Accepted: 08/11/2017


The objective of this research is to study costs structure of almonds production in Homs governorate for the agricultural season 2015. To achieve the targets, the research depended on the econometric and statistical analysis of the primary data which was collected by interviews with the farmers of the studied region. The results of the cost structure analysis of the almonds production showed that the variable costs accounted approximately (66.11) % of total costs, while the fixed costs accounted (33.89) % of the total costs. The quantitative analysis showed that the optimal size of production that decreases the costs was (12.9) tons, but the optimum area was (49.54) dunum. The estimated elasticity of costs, amounted (1) at the optimum level of production, and the minimum price was calculated as (148673.08) sp/tons, and the function supply in long term was derived. A positive relationship between quantity supplied of almonds and price, when price is greater than (148673.08) sp/tons. Also, the results showed that the average cost decreases until it reaches to optimal level of production, while proportion economies of scale reach the maximum value 100% at optimum level of production average cost.

Key Words: Almonds, Economies of scale, Function supply, Function of production costs in long-term.

Full paper in Arabic: PDF

Measuring Technical Efficiency of Wheat, Barley and Lentil Production Farms at Al-Zerbeh Region in Aleppo

Abdullah Al-Youssef*(1) Ahmad Shams Aldien Shaaban(2) Jamila Dirbas(3) Abdulatef Al-Assaf(1) Isam Khalifeh(1) and Yasmeen Naal(1)

(1). Aleppo Research Center, General Commission for Scientific Agriculture Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(2). Aleppo University Center for Strategic Studies and Research, University of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria.

(3). Cotton Research Administration, GCSAR, Damascus, Syria.

(* Corresponding author: Dr. Addullah Al-Youssef. Email:

Received: 20/04/2017                                Accepted: 24/09/2017


The aim of this research was to estimate production costs, and to compare technical efficiency levels and production gap of wheat, barley and lentil in the area within the project of enhancing food security in Arab Countries/Syria-Second Phase. The search conducted at Jabal Samaan region based upon 150 Questionnaires. The technical efficiency estimated by stochastic frontier analysis using Front 4.1 software. The results indicated an increase in the variable cost percentage of the total costs. The net profits were 650128, 458686 and 320021 S.P/ha for lentil, barley and wheat respectively. Averages technical efficiency were 81.5%, 67.3% and 82.9% for wheat, barley and lentil farmers respectively. Also, high significantly differences were found between actual and potential yield. Besides, lowest production gap was 340.3 (kg/ha) for lentil farmers, followed by wheat farmers (785.1 kg/ha), and finally barley farmers (1611 kg/ha).

Key Words: Production costs, Technical efficiency, Stochastic frontier analysis, Jabal Samaan.

Full paper in Arabic: PDF

Marketing Efficiency of Sheep Milk and its Derivatives in the Middle Area (Homs & Hama)

Khetam Idris*(1)

(1). Homs Research Center, General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(*Corresponding author: Dr. Khetam Idris. E-Mail:

Received: 25/12/2016                           Accepted: 22/01/2017


This research aimed to identify the value added and marketing efficiency of Syrian sheep milk which it utilized in livestock products. The central region of Syria (Homs and Hama) was selected, it has a comparative advantages of processing sheep milk products, according to a questionnaire of sheep owners sample. The questionnaire depended upon the type of breeding (resident, semi-nomadic and nomadic) in 2011. The results showed that the marketing of fresh milk is very important for the three groups of sheep breeders, followed by yogurt, then cheese, then the rest of the products, which has less comparative advantage such as shanklish, that made for the resident breeders only. The results showed that home manufacturing process was profitable, where the value added was achieved by manufacturing sheep milk into cheese, labna, ghee, yogurt, shanklish, and qarishah, respectively. The results showed that there are many marketing chains to market the products, starts from the producers who sell directly to the consumers, or to the retailers or to the wholesalers, or to the cheese makers. Heckman model with two steps was used to determine the marketing efficiency of sheep milk and its products. The effects of independent variables on farmers’ decisions to participate in the marketing with the best way were studied. The independent variables that affected positively milk processing and the quantities marketed were: The education level of the breeder, number of working years in the field of sheep breeding, stability, getting a loan, cattle size and the price of milk and cheese. While the independent variables that have significant and negative affect, in terms of the reduction of milk processing, and marketing were: Price of milk, permanent Bedouin, and distance to the nearest market to sell products.

Key words: Value-added, Marketing chains, Marketing efficiency, Marketing of sheep milk.

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Applying  ARIMA Models for Forecasting the Production of Cotton Crop in Syria

Salwa Almohammad(1) Ibtessam Jasem*(2) and Mai Lubboss(1)

(1). Agriculture Economy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

(2). Cotton Crop Administration, General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(*Correspoding author: Dr. Ibtessam Jasem. E-Mail:

Received: 31/12/2016                           Accepted: 25/01/2017


Prediction acquired a great importance in economic studies, that made the decision-makers draw economic and social policies for future, depending on the available data of the phenomenon history. Many economic prediction methods were used as Autoregressive Integrated Moving Averages (ARIMA). This model is a mixture of autoregressive technique and moving averages. The objective of this research is to use ARIMA models for predicting production area and productivity of cotton crop in Syria, and at the level of the major producing provinces (Al Hasakah, Aleppo, Rakka and Al-Ghab), because of their high accuracy in time series analysis and prediction. Annual data of the production area and productivity of irrigated cotton crop during the period (1985-2012) was used. The results revealed that ARIMA model (1.0.0) is the most appropriate one for predicting the production area and productivity of cotton in Syria up till 2020 according to the statistical tests of the accuracy of predictive models. The results suggested an increase in area and productivity for the next eight years with an annual growth rate higher than the annual growth rate for the studied period (1985-2012), where the annual growth rates of the area and production were (0.48% and 0.30%), respectively.

Keywords: ARIMA models, Cotton , Syria.

Full paper in Arabic: PDF

An Analytical Economic Study of Consumer Demand for Vegetable Oilin Damascus City

Fayez AL-Mikdad(1) Osama AL-Janadi(1) and Ahamad AL-Rifaee(1)

(1). Administration of Socio-Economics, General Commission of Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(*Corresponding author: Dr. Fayez Al-Mikdad. E-Mail:

Received: 23/10/2016                                 Accepted: 18/11/2016


The vegetable oils are a good source of energy, and are economically important. It is dramatically consumed in dietary patterns in Syria, in addition to the main role of vegetable oils in many food industries. The statistics revealed an increasing in domestic consumption of vegetable oils in Syria, thereby increasing amount of imports. This research aimed to estimate the demand function for vegetable oils, and to describe the relationships among changes in the amount consumed, prices, and income, to achieve that goal. The research has based on secondary data from the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Central Bureau of Statistics, in addition to the cross-sectional data obtained from a simple random sample consisting of 191 consumers in Damascus. The changes in the studied variables were followed periodically, every three months for one year (started from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013). The research based on descriptive statistical analysis as well as quantitative analysis to estimate the demand function for vegetable oil, and to derive the price, cross, and income elasticities. The study showed that the price and income elasticities of vegetable oils generally amounted to 0.2258, 0.1782 respectively, and there was a significant cross elasticity between sunflower and soybean oils as alternatives to each other.

Key words: Demand function, price, Cross and income elasticities, Consumption of vegetable oils, Alternative goods.

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Economics of Rainfed Olive Production in Homs Governorate

Moammar Dayoub*(1) Khetam Edrees(2) and Nisreen Edrees(2)

(1). Salamieh Agricultural Research Centre, General Commission for scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(2). Socio Economic Studies Directorate, Homs Agricultural Research Center, GCSR, Damascus, Syria.

(*Corresponding author: Dr. Moammar Dayoub. E-Mail:

Received: 20/07/2016                     Accepted: 20/08/2016


The main objective of this research was the descriptive economic and econometric analysis of cost functions of rain fed olive in Homs Governorate/Syria. In addition, this study aimed to determent the economic efficiency that maximize profit. Primary data was collected in 2012 and 2013 through interviews with the farmers. The farms were divided according to stability zones to zone 1 and 2. According to the descriptive economic analysis of costs and returns of olive production, the highest average of production cost per kilogram of olives was (120.98) SP for zone (1) in 2013, and the lowest value was (76.76) SP for zone (2) in 2012. In general, an obvious increment in production costs was appeared; this is due to the increase in production supplies prices, and labor wages in 2013 when compare with 2012. Also, a significant increase in the cost of olive oil production in 2013 as compared with 2012. The olive oil cost of 1 Kg in zones 1 and 2 for the season 2012 were (436.58, 388.52), and (528.66, 522.83) in 2013, respectively, this is due to the influence of high temperature, and the fall of flowers, which led to a significant decrease in fruition, in addition to other reasons because of the crisis, included the rising in oil production costs, starting from labor wages, ending with the wages of wills and transportation. Using the econometric models of cost functions, the economic efficient size was computed. The optimal production, and area in zone 1 were in 2011 (3533.33 kg, 3.00 Ha), respectively, while in 2013 were (4021.74 kg 4.4 Ha), but in zone (2) the optimal production, and area were (3783.78 kg, 3.59 Ha) in 2012, while in 2013 were (4500 kg, 3.93 Ha), respectively. This increment in production, and area in 2013 due to the alternate fruit bearing phenomenon in olive trees, besides the increase in production costs. The study concluded the need to support production requirements, especially for rainfed olive, because it is considered an important income source for the families of the region, and contribute to the stability and sustainability of agricultural production.

Keywords: Econometric analysis, Costs of olive production, Rainfed, Economic efficiency.

Full paper in Arabic: PDF

Analytical Study of Consumer Prices Indices Using Cluster Analysis, Syria

Safwan Mutha Abou -Assaf*(1) Remal Slman Saab(1) Maya Youssef Al-Abdala(1) and Samar Hossam Aldeen Al-Ashaoush(1)

 (1). Sewida Agricultural Research Center, General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.
(*Corresponding author : Dr. Safwan  Abou Assaf. E-Mail:

Received: 23/07/2016                           Accepted: 12/08/2016


The aim of this research was performing an analytical comparison of consumer prices index in Syria, to determine the convergence and spacing among them, using the method of hierarchical cluster analysis, and creating a proximities matrix that rely on calculating squared Euclidean distance between the studied units, according to the provinces, months and main groups of goods and services during 2014 compared to 2010. It was found that there were 10 provinces formed the first cluster, and this refers that these figures are homogenous among these provinces, while months were distributed in four clusters, which indicates a lack of homogeneity of the indices of consumer prices between months. In addition, the results revealed that nine of goods and services were concentrated in one cluster, indicating the homogeneity of these groups. The study recommended to use recent years and to consider the base year in the estimation of indices of consumer prices, also the study advised the competent authorities to expand the use of database accounts indices, and putting more details in performing main groups of goods and services. In addition to that, domestic investment must be run at a faster scale, especially the local industrial sectors.

Keywords: Index numbers, Cluster analysis, Hierarchical cluster analysis, Squared Euclidean Distance, Inflation.

Full paper in Arabic: Analytical Study of Consumer Prices Indices Using Cluster Analysis, Syria

The Role of Zero Tillage in Economic Return of Rain-fed Lentils in Al-Qamishli and Al-Malikiyah (Al-Hasakah Governorate)

Alaa Hamo*(1) Shabab Nasser(1) and Khaled Sultan(1)

(1). Economic Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Damascus University. Damascus. Syria.                                                                                                                   (*Corresponding author: Eng.  Alaa hamo. E-Mail:

Received: 29/02/2016                           Accepted: 06/04/2016


This study aims to define the role of zero tillage (ZT) in economic return for the lentils in the regions of Al-Qamishli and Al-Malikiyah (Al-Hasakah governorate). All farmers who followed ZT system in these regions has been selected. Sample size amounted to 200 randomly selected farmers, of which 100 follow ZT system, and the other 100 follow traditional cultivation. The economic analysis depended on estimating the average production costs, and economic returns for growing seasons 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. The results showed that the production cost in ZT is less than the TC by 12%, estimated to 56024, 63982 SYP/ha respectively. The net profit of ZT was about 391986 SYP/ha on average, with 7958 SYP/ha greater than TC.  Moreover the average cost ZT compared to ZT has been reduced by 19.8%, estimated to 30 and 37 SYP/kg, respectively. The analysis showed that the ZT reduce the amount of fuel consumption, working hours, seeding rate and total cost by 67%, 56 %, 44%, 32%, respectively. While the yield has increased by 9%.  This study revealed that ZT achieved an economic return higher than TC by 12 %.

Keywords: Zero tillage (ZT), Traditional cultivation (TC), Production costs, Economic return, Rain-fed lentils.

Full paper in English: The Role of Zero Tillage in Economic Return of Rain-fed Lentils in Al-Qamishli and Al-Malikiyah (Al-Hasakah Governorate)

Econometric Analysis of the Cost Functions of Spring Potatoes in Hama Government-Alghab Region

Moammar Dayoub*(1) Ibrahim Abdullah(2) Ramez Hamada(2) and Bassam Ali(3)

(1). Salamieh Agricultural Rresearch Center, General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.
(2). Alghab Agricultural Research Center, (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.
(3). Administration of Economic and Social Studies, (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.
(*Corresponding author: Dr. Moammar Dayoub. E-Mail:

Received: 07/09/ 2015                                     Accepted: 01/01/ 2016


The research was conducted in Hama governorate-Alghab region, and it based on a random sample of 135 spring potatoes farmers. Data was collected using special questionnaire designed for this purpose. The research aimed to estimate the cost functions in order to reach economic sizes of production and farm. The results showed that the optimum size, which minimize the cost was 40464.6 kg/ha, for the first category (less than 1 hectare), while the average actual production was 19031.25 kg/ha, but the optimum size for the third category (more than 3 hectares) was 43855.9 kg/ha, and the actual production was 26675 kg/ha. The study revealed also that the optimum size of the farm is 4.85 hectares, and the average farm size of the sample was 1.64. Level of profitability stood at 145.69% for the first category and reached 194.59% for the third one. The average cost also declined from 12.46 S.P. /Kg for the first category to 11.05 S.P. /Kg for the third one. The study emphasized the need to aggregate holdings in order to reduce production costs and to achieve better returns to scale.

Keywords: Spring potatoes, Economic scale, Cost function.

Full paper in Arabic: Econometric Analysis of the Cost Functions of Spring Potatoes in Hama Government-Alghab Region