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Modelling the Determinants of Organic Farming

Skulskis, Virgilijus (2010) Modelling the Determinants of Organic Farming. PhD thesis, ISM University of Management and Economics, Kaunas, Lithuania . .

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Summary

Analysis of scientific literature lead to the conclusion that academic society, politicians and producers of agricultural products more and more realize the importance and significance of organic farming on the development of society through the prism of the sustainable development and understand that organic farming creates the preconditions for the solution of environmental, economic and social problems in agriculture. The analysis of the previous methodologies and results regarding the factors of organic farming has enabled the following conclusions to be drawn:
• the quantitative researches based on the farmers’ opinions dominated. The opinion of consumers was used rarely, and the qualitative experimental researches were ever so seldom. It is likely, that the reason of such a situation was the said assumption that the decision to change the method of production was the prerogative of the farmer and his family;
• already the initial period (until the seventies of the last century) of the studies on the factors of conventional farming has revealed that the respondents named many factors encouraging them to run the agricultural activity. This encouraged in later researches to classify the factors of organic farming by different characteristics. It should be noted that the conclusions of studies of the said initial period stressed the importance of the external factors such as the market of organic products, promotional policy, consumer opinion. In the results of slightly later studies the prominence was given to the personal characteristics of the farmers, and were stressed the elements of farming systems, the significance of their interaction and links with the external environment, i.e. it was an attempt to emphasize the significance of the factors of the farm internal environment. Eventually, the studies started to treat as significant both the internal and external factors. It all goes to cause the mixed matrix of the identified factors;
• for quite a long time it was an attempt to identify the organic farming influencing factors analyzing the organic farmers as a homogeneous group, i. e. as an alternative to the conventional farmers. Only since mid-nineties of the last century it was started to search for the dividing line among the respondents farming organically classifying them by certain features, i. e. by different characteristics of the surveyed farmers or their farms. However, for this reason the matrix of the identified factors has become even more mixed, and the opinions of researchers on the factors’ significance to the farmers have divided even more.
The analysis has showed and supposed the grounds for the classification of organic farmers into different groups by priority of activity independent of the duration of the development of organic farming and on this basis to identify the significance of the determinants of organic farming.
The model for research of the determinants of organic farming includes two groups of factors (the external and internal) affecting the farmers’ decision to farm organically and four subgroups (respectively, the government and the market, and the farm and the personality of farmer). The research model was tested on the opinions of the respondents engaged in organic farming. The results of the empiric research proved the rightness of the theoretical model and enabled to clarify that in Lithuania under the present conditions the respondents engaged in organic farming assessed the groups of determinants differently.
The cluster analysis of the empiric research enabled to identify two groups of organic respondents depending on statistically significant differences of activity priorities: profit-oriented and organic-oriented lifestyle (in the beginning of the clustering process 24 cluster groups of the respondents were formed). This shows that the clustering enabled the elimination of the socio-economic heterogeneity of organic farms while identifying the organic farming encouraging factors.
The results of the empiric research have showed that in the opinion of the respondents engaged in organic farming the external factors are more significant than the internal; the external determinants are more encouraging but not limiting organic farming. The regressive analysis of the factors of organic farming has revealed that for both cluster groups of the respondents (profit-oriented and organic-oriented lifestyle) the external and internal determinants have different significance.
The assessment of the determinants of organic farming depending on their importance and significance in the both identified cluster groups of the respondents has revealed the following differences:
• the majority of the determinants encouraging organic farming the respondents of organic-oriented lifestyle assessed more favorably than the profit-oriented respondents;
• the opinion of both groups’ respondents was the most different concerning the importance of the environmental issues (soil, water resources, etc.) on the farm.


EPrint Type:Thesis
Keywords:organic farming, determinants of organic farming
Subjects: Farming Systems > Social aspects
Research affiliation: Lithuania
Deposited By: Skulskis, Virgilijus
ID Code:20058
Deposited On:04 Mar 2013 10:55
Last Modified:04 Mar 2013 10:55
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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