Understanding the Perceptions and Attitudes of Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Towards Organic Farming in Tennessee

Kumuditha Dilanka Hikkaduwa Epa Liyanage, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The demand for the organic food has increased dramatically over the last few years in the USA, organic crop production is not increasing proportionally. In Tennessee numbers of certified organic farms are very low compared to other states in USA. The Primary objective of the study is to identify and analyze fruit and vegetable farmers’ perceptions towards organic farming in Tennessee. Two hundred and fifty conventional and organic farmers were randomly selected from the Pick Tennessee products database including farm owners, farm operators that were considered to be “organically certified”, “organic-not certified” and “naturally grown” or "conventional" in their farming practices. From the responses of 116 farmers revealed that 65% of respondents are following organic farming practices. Also, all the eight variables selected as farmers’ perceptions towards organic farming were affected growing practices. There were significant relationships (p? 0.05) between some growing practices and perceptions. Most of the organic farmers have identified high cost of production, labor intensity, pest and disease problems and certification process as challenges to continue their organic farming. Conventional farmers have identified high cost of production, time consuming as some of major barriers to enter into organic farming. According to the results, factors such as producing vegetables, farming experience, hours work per week on farm, gender, annual cash farm income contributed significantly to the adoption of organic farming. These observations on farmer perceptions and attitudes gives a better explanation for the lower organic production in Tennessee.^

Subject Area

Agriculture|Agricultural education

Recommended Citation

Kumuditha Dilanka Hikkaduwa Epa Liyanage, "Understanding the Perceptions and Attitudes of Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Towards Organic Farming in Tennessee" (2017). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10640997.
https://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10640997

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