Emergy Evaluation of Resource Values for Rice Paddy Production in South Korea

Jimin Lee, Taegon Kim, Kyo Suh
Journal of Korean Society of Rural Planning Vol.20 No.4, 2014, pp.35-43

The purpose of this study is to analyze emergy flows of rice for evaluating the value of rice production and sustainability. Emergy analysis evaluates the sustainability of systems or processes considering all the inputs to make a product or a sevice. In this study, we analyzed the emergy flows and indices of rice productionand compared the regional emergy values using statisticcal analysis: input materials, hours per unit area(10a), and production costs. As the results, we found that the rates of external investment (EIR= 18.87) and environmental loading (ELR=21.7) are significantly high during the rice cultivation. However, emergy yield ratio(EYR) shows that rice is a valuable resource because EYR is 5.12 and environmental Sustainability IndexSI value is as low as 0.24 and it shows rice has low sustainability. This study also shows that Chungcheongnam-do has the highest SI value for rice production due to low environmental loading and abundant natural energy during rice cultivation. These results of rice emergy flows and sustainability assessments could provide a way of sustainable rice cultivation with decrease of environmental loading from fertilizer.

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