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Who are the potential organic farmers? Limits to growth in organic farming in Denmark

Kledal, Researcher Paul Rye (2002) Who are the potential organic farmers? Limits to growth in organic farming in Denmark. Paper at: 13th International IFMA Congress of Farm Management, Wagening, Holland, July 2002. [Unpublished]

[thumbnail of IFMA132002.doc] Source file - English


Since 1996 organic farming in Denmark has had a tremendous growth in terms of farms and areable land. If the rate of growth would continue ten more years, all danish agriculture would be organic. Therefore the expectations towards organic agriculture to solve environmental problems as well as beeing a new promising production practise for many farmers, have been high on all political levels. These expectations are described in ”Actionplan 2” published in 1999 by The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, telling which actions should be taken to promote further devel-opement of organic farming in Denmark. ”Actionplan 2” contained a forecast which predicted that 40 % of the farms in Denmark holding 30 % of the areable land were potential organic. However the forecast was not founded on a systematic analysis about the barriers at farm level changing production from conventionel to organic.
By investigating e.g. full- and parttime farmers, age, type of soil, type of production (milk, pig, plants), size of farms, the objective of the study was to delimit much more precisely who and how many the potential organic farmers were over a ten year outlook.
A socio-economic questionnaire among 136 conventionel farmers representative of one of Denmarks 15 counties. The chosen county is at the same time representative of all types of farms in the whole of Denmark. The 136 farmers were included in the statistics of The Danish Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries. Therefore their answers were cross-analysed with the Institutes own farm accounts. The questionnaire was made in the spring of 1999.
Main results
Only 15% of the farmers and areable land were potential organic the next ten years. The potential farmer in Denmark in the future will for 70% be a small part-time plant producer on sandy soil. Potential organic farmers belong to a ”youth group” less than 45. The young age of potential organic farmers was found to be related with the ’investment profile’ of farmers in general. Potential organic husbandries either had a production machinery that fairly easy could be converted into organic practise or they had an old production machinery that had to be renewed. Potential organic husbandries could also be delimited in accordance with the boundaries of selfsufficiency. The more economic tied a farmer was to his conventionel production, the more the chance was, that he would express negative opinions about organic farming.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Organic farming, scenarios of the organic farming sector, using questionaires in policy designs for promoting organic farming, delimiting potential organic farmers.
Subjects: Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.2 (ECON-ORG) Analyses of the future development of organic farming
Related Links:http://www.ifmaonline.org
Deposited By: Kledal, Researcher Paul Rye
ID Code:385
Deposited On:30 Jan 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:27
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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