Inderscience Publishers

Factors influencing the conversion to organic farming in Norway

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Determinants of the decision to convert to organic farming methods are examined by applying bivariate analyses and a multinomial logit model to a survey of 1018 Norwegian crop and dairy farmers. The results show that 4% of the conventional respondents plan to convert by 2009, which may imply that the national goal of 10% organically managed area will not be achieved. The analysis indicates that organic farmers, compared to their conventional counterparts, are more likely to have larger farms, more education, be located closer to urban areas, be crop farmers, have 'sustainable and environment-friendly farming' as a goal and hold favourable views about the values of organic farming methods. Even though the farmers who are planning to convert seem to be more business-minded and less organically oriented than the existing organic producers, policies for promoting organic farming which confine itself to financial considerations may miss important factors which prompt farmers to convert.

Keywords: adoption, motivation, survey, multinomial logit, Norway, organic farming, organic agriculture, crop farmers, dairy farmers, values, agricultural policy

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