Integrated Assessment of Farming System Outputs: Lithuanian Case Study
Agriculture provides people with different market outputs. However, market outputs are not the only kind of output provided by agriculture: non-market outputs are produced jointly with the market ones in an agroecosystem. All the outputs produced by agriculture can be classified as the ecosystem services. The magnitude and levels of farming outputs depend on different technologies of production; i.e. different farming systems generate different outputs. Assessing the output of agriculture is quite simple in terms of the market value, but not so easy for non-market outputs. Moreover, evaluation of market and non-market outputs is usually performed separately. The objectives of this paper are to present an integrated evaluation framework for the outputs, marketable and non-marketable, associated with different farming systems. For the case study, we proposed the evaluation of the market and non-market output, associated with milk production in Lithuania, considering both organic and conventional production. In terms of the market evaluation, the results have shown that organic farming produced a value 1.24 times higher than conventional, while the valuation result associated with the non-market output is 83 time higher in organic than in conventional one. The study is the first attempt to develop a framework for integrated evaluation of farming outputs, taking into account market and non-market outputs and considering different types of farming systems.