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Perceptions from Tasmanian organic farmers about the availability of information on organic farming practices

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Godoy, Marta E. Vergara (2004) Perceptions from Tasmanian organic farmers about the availability of information on organic farming practices. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Organic farming is experiencing a steady growth and market signals indicate that this
expansion will continue. Organic products are becoming common in mass markets
and are in high demand for export to foreign markets. In order to capture a larger
share of the growing niche market, the Tasmanian organic industry is confronted with
the challenge of expanding its industry to encompass more producers. The response
from the Tasmanian organic industry has so far been an increase of 70 percent in the
total area of certified organic production within the last three years. However,
members of the Tasmanian Organic sector acknowledge the existence of impediments
to successful expansion. One of the major obstacles they identified was that organic
farmers and those looking to convert, are challenged by a dearth of available
information.
This research addresses the issue of whether is there lack of information about organic
practices among Tasmanian organic farmers, and whether such a lack of information
is a constraint for the expansion of the organic farming sector. The aims of this
research were to evaluate the information sources used and the types information
required by Tasmanian organic farmers. Such an evaluation was necessary in order to
direct future research initiatives and to better plan the provision of extension services.
The majority of the 13 organic farmers that took part in the study had been involved
with the organic industry in southern Tasmania for more than five years, which was
an important criterion for ensuring the validity of the qualitative analysis using semistructured
interviews.
The organic farmers were a diverse group. Their main sources of information included
books, trial and error and peer advice. There was consensus among the farmers about
the lack of information about post-conversion production techniques. There was also a
tendency among Tasmanian organic farmers for a high degree of self-reliance for the
acquisition of information. However, the lack of information does not currently
appear to be a major constraint on the expansion of the industry. Nevertheless,
production orientated research and effective educational strategies retained
importance among farmers for the successful advancement of their industry.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Master)
Keywords: Organic farming
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.App.Sc.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 00:09
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 23:03
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