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Farmer attitudes towards converting to organic farming

Laepple, Doris (2008) Farmer attitudes towards converting to organic farming. In: Teagasc Organic Proaduction Research Conference Proceedings, Teagasc, Ireland, pp. 114-121.

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Summary

Despite the considerable interest in organic farming the Irish organic sector remains small. Therefore to target support for the sector it is important to understand why farmers make decisions in favour or against organic farming as well as to identify drivers and barriers affecting that decision. Adoption of organic farming is assumed to be driven by a variety of different reasons such as economic and socio-economic, structural and institutional factors (e.g. Defrancesco et al., 2008; Burton et al, 2003). However, information gathering (e.g. Genius et al, 2006) and attitudes of the farmer (e.g. Willock et al, 1999, Hattam, 2006, Rehman et al, 2007) are also important in that decision.
This paper focuses on the role that the attitudes of farmers play in identifying drivers and barriers to the intention to convert to organic farming using the theory of planned behaviour. To set this paper in context, it is part of a larger study which aims to explain the decision to adopt or not to adopt organic farming over time with respect to a variety of factors such as economic, institutional and socio-economic as well as comparing the attitudes and objectives of organic and conventional farmers.
The results presented here suggest that, under current circumstances, large-scale conversion to organic farming by drystock farmers within the next five years is uncertain, but nevertheless 6% of drystock farmers state considerable interest in going organic. It appears that farmers do not have strong opinions about organic farming but equally the results here suggest that they feel they do not have a good level of knowledge about organic farming. Therefore an increase in information mainly focused on promoting organic farming as a profitable alternative to conventional farming could have a positive impact on the tendency for conversion. Future conversion to organics is most likely to be financially driven, but nevertheless the farmers’ perception that only rich people can afford to buy organic food remains a barrier and considerations might be given towards approaches that might alter this mindset.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: Ireland
Deposited By: Clavin, Mr Dan
ID Code:18660
Deposited On:07 Apr 2011 13:14
Last Modified:07 Apr 2011 13:14
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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