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|Factors influencing the decision to farm organic practices in Malaysia
|Mohamed Haris, Nur Bahiah Binti
|This research investigates the factors that influence farmers’ decisions to adopt organic farming practices. The research focuses on Malaysia, where people have recently become increasingly aware of the potential advantages of organic food; however, the adoption rates among farmers are still very low and the number of certified organic farmers remains also small. In fact, the demand from consumers for organic products continues to increase and cannot be met by local producers, hence suppliers have to rely on foreign imports. This thesis investigates the barriers preventing conventional farmers from adopting organic practices, as well as examining the attitudes of farmers in relation to organic farming. Drawing on the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Diffusion and Innovation Theory, this thesis reveals key factors that influence farmers to adopt organic farming practices. The study applies a sequential mixed methods design, which involves three stages including both quantitative and qualitative methods. The first stage was based on exploratory interviews with seven key informants which provided an in-depth understanding of policy and government intervention relating to the growth of organic production. Then, a questionnaire survey was administered to 170 farmers, with 82 being organic farmers and 88 conventional. The survey gathered relevant data regarding the farm household, farm enterprises, and attitudes to adopting organic farming. Finally, a series of in-depth interviews was conducted with ten farmers, to explore further some of the underlying factors that enabled them to adopt organic farming. Logistic regression analysis was used on questionnaire data to identify factors that influenced adoption, and supporting with qualitative analysis. The results revealed that certain attitudes such as environmental awareness and information-sharing make an important contribution to the adoption of organic farming. Analysis of qualitative data further confirms that the adoption of organic farming in Malaysia is not only an economic consideration, but also reflects certain behaviours and socio-economic backgrounds. These observations can potentially contribute to national policy development by informing future strategies to encourage the expansion of the organic farming sector.
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|School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
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|Mohamed Haris N 2019.pdf
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