The Sicily is the first region for orange cultivation in Italy. This sector, throughout the ages, has been characterized by a decrease of the invested areas and by a reduction of the fresh product’s demand; in the meantime, the competitiveness of the new producer countries is increased for a better commercial organization and for lower production costs. The aim of the paper is to improve the knowledge of orange cultivation in Ribera area, in the province of Agrigento (Sicily). It is carried out a microeconomic analysis on a sample of 20 farms to determine profitability of orange cultivation by means of various economic indicators (production costs, profits, net incomes). The business survey has regarded 30 plants, distinguished by the two principal variety of the area: Brasiliano and Naveline. The cropping techniques generally adopted in the farm sample are characterized by high manual labour inputs. This doesn’t depend by the variety, but it’s due to a low mechanization degree of the plants and to a different businessman management. Microeconomic analysis has showed similar average values of the production costs among the two variety. The profit average value, whereas, has resulted more elevated in the Naveline plants than Brasiliano ones, because of the high value of the Gross Saleable Product of Naveline oranges. The net incomes values, finally, are resulted higher in the direct management plants. With regard to commercial aspects, the most part of the farm product has been destined to the national market through some commercialization centres located in the Ribera area.
Keywords: Oranges, production cost, profit, net income
Jel Code: Q12, Q13