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What influences agricultural professionals' views towards organic agriculture?

  • Wheeler, Sarah Ann

Organic agriculture is a farming system that is considered by some to have beneficial impacts on the future sustainability of agriculture. Although some research has studied the attitudes of consumers and farmers, in particular what factors influence the willingness of consumers to pay organic premiums and what factors influence farmers to adopt organic farming, no studies have considered what influences the attitudes of agricultural professionals (extension officers, scientists, academics and researchers). Given the key role that agricultural professionals play in influencing farmer adoption of agricultural innovations and conducting research, their views on farming systems may be critical for overall adoption. This study reports the results of a telephone survey conducted in 2004, with 185 agricultural professionals surveyed for their views towards organic farming. A particular aim was to study how increased knowledge and experience influenced attitudes towards organic agriculture. Using an ordered probit regression framework, some of the significant key influences on attitudes towards organic farming were: knowledge; experience; education; informational; occupational effects; and attitudes on the individual aspects of organic agriculture. The study finds support for the hypothesis that professionals with increased organic knowledge and experience are more likely to think favourably about organic agriculture.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 65 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 145-154

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:1:p:145-154
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Katrin, Millock & Hansen, Lars Gårn, 2002. "Willingness to Pay for Organic Foods: A Comparison between Survey Data and Panel Data from Denmark," MPRA Paper 47588, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  3. Michael Burton & Dan Rigby & Trevor Young, 2003. "Modelling the adoption of organic horticultural technology in the UK using Duration Analysis," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(1), pages 29-54, 03.
  4. Rigby, Dan & Woodhouse, Phil & Young, Trevor & Burton, Michael, 2001. "Constructing a farm level indicator of sustainable agricultural practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 463-478, December.
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  6. Loureiro, Maria L. & McCluskey, Jill J. & Mittelhammer, Ronald C., 2001. "Assessing Consumer Preferences For Organic, Eco-Labeled, And Regular Apples," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
  7. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
  8. Sallie James & Michael Burton, 2003. "Consumer preferences for GM food and other attributes of the food system," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(4), pages 501-518, December.
  9. Hendry, David F, 1980. "Econometrics-Alchemy or Science?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(188), pages 387-406, November.
  10. Aaron Harp & Carolyn Sachs, 1992. "Public agricultural researchers: Reactions to organic, low input and sustainable agriculture," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 58-63, September.
  11. Marsh, Sally P. & Pannell, David J., 2000. "Agricultural extension policy in Australia: the good, the bad, and the misguided," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 44(4), December.
  12. Rigby, D. & Caceres, D., 2001. "Organic farming and the sustainability of agricultural systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 21-40, April.
  13. Pretty, Jules N., 1995. "Participatory learning for sustainable agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(8), pages 1247-1263, August.
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