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