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What makes a citrus farmer go organic? Empirical evidence from Spanish citrus farming

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Author Info

  • Mercedes Beltrán-Esteve

    (Universidad de Valencia)

  • Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo

    (Universidad de Valencia)

  • Ernest Reig-Martínez

    (Universidad de Valencia)

Abstract

Organic farming is increasing its share of total world food output and receiving growing support from policymakers concerned with agricultural sustainability issues. This paper studies the characteristics of citrus farmers in the Spanish region of Valencia that affect their probability of becoming organic farmers. A fair understanding of these characteristics may help policymakers improve the design of agricultural policies aimed at supporting organic citrus practices. As regards the methodology, a probit model is estimated with information of a sample of conventional and organic citrus farmers obtained from a survey specifically designed for the purpose of this research. Our main finding is that university education and agricultural professional training both increase the probability of becoming an organic farmer. Conversely, older farmers, farmers selling their production to foreign markets and those with farms of greater size and/or managing family farms are less likely to adopt organic citrus farming. The main policy implication is that, in order to support organic citrus production, more attention needs to be paid to improve farmersÕ technical training and education concerning organic farming.

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File URL: ftp://147.156.210.157/RePEc/pdf/eec_1205.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia in its series Working Papers with number 1205.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1205

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Keywords: Citrus farming; organic versus conventional production; probit estimation; education and professional training; Spain;

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References

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  1. Mzoughi, Naoufel, 2011. "Farmers adoption of integrated crop protection and organic farming: Do moral and social concerns matter?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1536-1545, June.
  2. Hansen, J. W., 1996. "Is agricultural sustainability a useful concept?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 117-143.
  3. Wheeler, Sarah Ann, 2008. "What influences agricultural professionals' views towards organic agriculture?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 145-154, March.
  4. Swinton, Scott M. & Lupi, Frank & Robertson, G. Philip & Hamilton, Stephen K., 2007. "Ecosystem services and agriculture: Cultivating agricultural ecosystems for diverse benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 245-252, December.
  5. Carlsson, Fredrik & Nam, Pham Khanh & Linde-Rahr, Martin & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Are Vietnamese Farmers Concerned with their Relative Position in Society?," Working Papers in Economics 165, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  6. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Ernest Reig-Martínez, 2005. "Calculating shadow wages for family labour in agriculture : An analysis for Spanish citrus fruit farms," Cahiers d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 75, pages 5-21.
  7. Zhang, Wei & Ricketts, Taylor H. & Kremen, Claire & Carney, Karen & Swinton, Scott M., 2007. "Ecosystem services and dis-services to agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 253-260, December.
  8. Stolze, Matthias & Lampkin, Nicolas, 2009. "Policy for organic farming: Rationale and concepts," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 237-244, June.
  9. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Ernest Reig-Martínez, 2006. "Outsourcing and efficiency: the case of Spanish citrus farming," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(2), pages 213-222, 09.
  10. Michael Burton & Dan Rigby & Trevor Young, 1999. "Analysis of the Determinants of Adoption of Organic Horticultural Techniques in the UK," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 47-63.
  11. Jules Pretty & Craig Brett & David Gee & Rachel Hine & Chris Mason & James Morison & Matthew Rayment & Gert Van Der Bijl & Thomas Dobbs, 2001. "Policy Challenges and Priorities for Internalizing the Externalities of Modern Agriculture," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(2), pages 263-283.
  12. Lynam, John K. & Herdt, Robert W., 1989. "Sense and sustainability: Sustainability as an objective in international agricultural research," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 3(4), pages 381-398, December.
  13. Läpple, Doris & Rensburg, Tom Van, 2011. "Adoption of organic farming: Are there differences between early and late adoption?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1406-1414, May.
  14. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Mercedes Beltrán-Esteve & José A. Gómez-Limón, 2011. "Assessing eco-efficiency with directional distance functions," Working Papers 1110, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  15. Charles W. Howe, 1997. "Dimensions of Sustainability: Geographical, Temporal, Institutional, and Psychological," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 597-607.
  16. Rigby, Dan & Young, Trevor & Burton, Michael, 2001. "The development of and prospects for organic farming in the UK," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 599-613, December.
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