Title: Farm-level Determinants of Conversion to Sustainable Farming Practices in the New Members States
Citation: Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe. ISBN 978-3-938584-31-6, ISSN 1436-221X vol. 44 p. 265-275
Publisher: Leibniz-Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Mittel- und Osteuropa (IAMO)
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC36301
URI: http://www.iamo.de
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The increased interest of consumers in the new Member States for better quality food produced in an environmental-friendly way is expected to act as an incentive for farmers to seek and adopt more sustainable farming practices. Moreover, support to organic farming, one of the set of production alternatives to conventional farming practices, is provided under the national and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) organic farming schemes. However, in the new Member States the observed rate of conversion is currently low. A field survey carried out in 2005 in the Czech republic and Lithuania to investigate the determinants of converting to organic farming reveals that farmer’s own belief about the benefits of organic farming (better environment, better quality food, market premium), as well as intrinsic characteristics of the farm increase the likelihood of conversion. Where the certification process as an organic farm implies important changes in the current farm structure, the propensity of the farmer to consider a change to organic farming is low. The results vary among countries and farming systems. In the case of crops-orientated farming systems, the access to market and availability of advisory services are more important in the Czech Republic, while environmental and food concerns prevail in Lithuania. Moreover, for those farming systems located in a less favourable farming milieu (e.g. underdeveloped marketing channels as is the case of Lithuanian Livestock-Marginal system), market access and profit emerge as main determinants influencing the decision whether to convert to organic. When considering the particular case of family farms, the results of a logit model reveal that apart farmers’ own belief into the environmental or food quality benefits of organic products and knowledge about characteristics of technology to be adopted, the availability of extra labour, and being a member of farmers’ associations increase the likelihood of conversion.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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