Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Organic agriculture in Iran: Farmers' barriers to and factors influencing adoption

  • Shohreh Soltani (a1), Hossein Azadi (a2), Hossein Mahmoudi (a3) (a4) and Frank Witlox (a2)
Abstract

Organic agriculture is being promoted in Iran to address environmental problems resulting from the use of chemical materials in agriculture. Despite many advantages of organic agriculture, the results of several case studies show that its adoption rate is still very low among farmers. The purpose of this paper is to review previous studies that investigated the main factors influencing and challenging the adoption of organic agriculture. The review included journal articles and conference papers from 2007 to 2012. The results show that Iranian farmers have strong motives for the adoption, yet face challenges in certifying, marketing, and accessing reliable technical information and credits. Given the review of factors that govern farmers' adoption of organic agriculture, key mechanisms for promoting farmers' adoption are discussed. Further research is needed to learn how to bring these mechanisms into play in Iran.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: hossein.azadi@ugent.be
References
Hide All
1IFOAM. 2009. Definition of Organic Agriculture. Available at Web site http://www.ifoam.org/growing_organic/definitions/doa/index.html (accessed March 10, 2013).
2Azadi, H., Schoonbeek, S., Mahmoudi, H., Derudder, B., De Maeyer, P., and Witlox, F. 2011. Organic agriculture and sustainable food production system: main potentials. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 144:9294.
3Farnworth, C. and Hutchings, J. 2009. Organic agriculture and women's empowerment. IFOAM, Germany.
4El-Hage Scialabba, N. 2007. Organic agriculture and food security. International Conference on ‘Organic. Agriculture and Food Security, FAO, Italy, May 3–5, 2007.
5Mahmoudi, H., Sharghi, A., Vossoughi, Sh., and Salamat, Sh. 2009. Organic agriculture as a strategy for improving small farmers' livelihood in Iran. The 2nd International Conference on ‘Organic Sector Development in the Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Georgia, September 10–11, 2009.
6Darnhofer, I., Schermer, M., and Schneeberger, W. 2008. Continuity and change in organic farming – Philosophy, policy and practice. International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology 7(1/2):14.
7Partap, T. 2010. Emerging organic farming sector in Asia: a synthesis of challenges and opportunities. In Partap, T. and Saeed, M. (eds). Organic Agriculture and Agribusiness: Innovation and Fundamentals'. Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo, Japan.
8Malek-Saeidi, H., Rezaei-Moghaddam, K., and Ajili, A. 2012. Professionals' attitudes towards organic farming: the case of Iran. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology 14:3750.
9Willer, H. and Kilcher, L. 2009. The World of Organic Agriculture—Statistics and Emerging Trends 2009. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn.
10Sadati, S.A., Shabanali-Fami, H., Kalantari, K., Mohamadi, Y., and Asakere, A. 2010. Investigating effective factors on attitude of paddy growers towards organic farming: a case study in Babol County, Iran. Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology 3(4):362367.
11Willer, H. and Kilcher, L. 2012. The World of Organic Agriculture—Statistics and Emerging Trends 2012. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn.
12Vossenaar, R. and Jha, V. 2007. Trading opportunities for organic food products from developing countries. United Nations.
13Kledal, P.R., Mahmoudi, H., and Mahdavi Damghani, A.M. 2012. Organic food and farming in Iran. In Willer, H. and Kilcher, L. (eds). The World of Organic Agriculture—Statistics and Emerging Trends 2012. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn.
14Sharifi-Moghaddam, M. 2006. Report of the Activities in IPM/FFS Sites in Iran. Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Extension and Farming System Department, Tehran.
15Etehadi, M., Rusta, K., and Gholi-Nia, M.J. 2011. Investigating the effectiveness of FFS approach in disseminating IPM practices from farmers' overview, case study Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Journal 7(1):4152.
16Razzaghi-Borkhani, F., Rezvanfar, A., and Shabanali Fami, H. 2010. The role of educational and communicational factors on the knowledge of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) among paddy farmers in Sari County. Journal of Agricultural Education Management Research 13:217.
17Etehadi, M., Rusta, K., and Mashhadi Bandani, N. 2010. Farmer Field School, an appropriate strategy to developing organic agriculture. The 3rd Congress on Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension and Education, Mashhad, Iran, March 2–3, 2010.
18Veisi, H., Mahmoudi, H., and Sharifi-Moghaddam, M. 2010. Identifying farmers' adoption of integrated pest management technologies. Journal of Iran Agricultural Economy and Development 4(41):481490.
19Rezvanfar, A., Eraktan, G., and Olhan, E. 2011. Determine of factors associated with the adoption of organic agriculture among small farmers in Iran. African Journal of Agricultural Research 6(13):29502956.
20Karimi, E. 2011. Investigating the barriers of organic agriculture development. Journal of Iran Agricultural Economy and Development 2(42):231242.
21Azadi, H., Ho, P., Hafni, E., Zarafshani, K., and Witlox, F. 2011. Multi-stakeholder involvement and urban green space performance. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 54(6):785811.
22Khaledi, M., Gray, R., Weseen, S., and Sawyer, E. 2007. Assessing the Barriers to Conversion to Organic Farming: An Institutional Analysis. Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Saskatchewan.
23Mahdavi-Damghani, A. 2007. Organic Farming in Iran: Opportunities and Challenges of Certification, Education and Development. Tropentag Congress on Utilization of Diversity in Land use Systems: Sustainable and Organic Approaches to Meet Human Needs, Witzenhausen, Germany, October 9–11, 2007.
24Khaledi, M. and Weseen, S. 2007. Farmers’ attitude towards barriers and incentives for converting to organic agriculture. Second National Congress on Ecological Agriculture, Gorgan, Iran, October 17–18, 2007.
25Sharifi, O., Sadati, S., Rostami Ghobadi, F., Sadati, A., Mohamadi, Y., and Tolou Del, P. 2010. Barriers to conversion to organic farming: A case study in Babol County in Iran. African Journal of Agricultural Research 5(16):22602267.
26Bello, W.B. 2008. Problems and prospect of organic farming in developing countries. Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management 1(1):3643.
27Javanmard, M. and Mahmoudi, H. 2008. A SWOT Analysis of organic dried fig production in Iran. Environmental Sciences 6(1):101110.
28Keshavarz, F., Allahyari, M.S., Azarmi Sesari, Z., and Khayati, M. 2010. Factors influencing the adoption of high-yielding rice varieties among farmers in Gilan Province. The 3rd Congress on Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension and Education, Mashhad, Iran, March 2–3, 2010.
29Moradi, Z., Heydari, H., Azizi, M., and Yaqubi, A. 2011. Analysis of organic farming as a place sustainable agricultural development platform perspective: case study of Qorveh and Divanadrreh, Kordestan Province. The 2nd National Conference on Sustainable Rural Development, Avicenna University, Hamedan, Iran, July 6–7, 2011.
30Asghar-Nejad, A. and Tahmaseb-pour, B. 2011. The process of converting conventional agriculture to sustainable agriculture and influencing factors. The First Congress on Agricultural Development in North Western Provinces of Iran, Ardebil, Iran, November 9–10, 2011.
31Hashemi-Nejad, A. and Rezvanfar, A. 2010. Investigating problems and barriers of organic agriculture from organic farmers' point of view in Ravansar, Kermanshah. The first Iranian Fertilizer Challenge Congress: Half a Century of the Fertilizer Consumption, Water and Soil Research Institute, Tehran, Iran, March 1–3, 2010.
32Sari, M.B.A., Asadi, A., Akbari, M., Fakharzadeh, S.A., and Sukhtanloo, M. 2008. A study on the attitude and the influencing factors on adopting organic agriculture. Journal of Iran Agricultural Economy and Development 39(1):133144.
33Akbari, M., Sari, M.B., Fakharzadeh, A.H., Iravani, Alam-beigi A., and Namdar, R. 2008. A study on farmers' attitude towards influencing factors on consumption of organic products. Journal of Crops Improvement 10(2):1326.
34Nemati, A. and Azami, M. 2011. Factors influencing sustainability of potato farming in Bahar County, Hamedan. The 2nd National Conference on Sustainable Rural Development, Avicenna University, Hamedan, Iran, July 6–7, 2011.
35Shah-Morad, L. and Hayati, D. 2010. FFS approcah, considering the Fars Province Experience. The 3rd Congress on Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension and Education, Mashhad, Iran, March 2–3, 2010.
36Wossink, A. and Kuminoff, N.V. 2005. Valuing the option to switch to organic farming: an application to U.S. corn and soybeans. Presented at the XIth European Association of Agricultural Economists Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 24–27, 2005.
37Osku, T., Chizari, M., and Rasuli, F. 2007. The impact of FFS approach on the knowledge and attitude of rice farmers about biologic management of pests, case study: Mazandaran Province. Journal of Iran Agricultural Science 38–2(1):109119.
38Omani, A.R. and Chizari, M. 2011. Identifying the appropriate model for anticipating adoption model for sustainable management of water resources among wheat farmers of Ahvaz Province. Journal of Agricultural Economy and Development 19(73):77100.
39Foruzani, M. and Shahvali, M. 2010. Investigating religious attitude of rural people towards water management in Fars Province. The 3rd Congress on Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension and Education, Mashhad, Iran, March 2–3, 2010.
40Ghane, F., Namdar, R., and Chizari, M. 2009. Assesing the effectiveness of IPM training courses from cotton farmers' perspective in Garamsar County. Journal of Agricultural Education Management Research 3(8):5967.
41Nazarian, M., Ajili, A., and Rezaee-Moghaddam, K. 2010. Knowledge and attitude of vegetable growers in Shush county towards using pesticides. The 3rd Congress on Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension and Education, Mashhad, Iran, March 2–3, 2010.
42Mahboubi, M.R. and Keshnizi, M. 2010. Comparative analysis of rural women and men's dedication to soil conservation ethnics, case study: Safi-Abad Golestan Province. The 3rd Congress on Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension and Education, Mashhad, Iran, March 2–3, 2010.
43Dinpanah, G., Mirdamadi, S.M., Chizari, M., and Slack, S.M. 2009. Analysis of FFS influence on paddy farmers in Sari county. Journal of Iranian Economic Research and Rural Development 40(1):7584.
44Genius, M., Pantzios, X., and Tzouvelekas, V. 2006. Information Acquisition and Adoption of Organic Farming Practices in Crete, Greece. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 31(1):93113.
45Kunihira, E. 2009. Mainstreaming Gender in Organic Agriculture; A Means to an End. Available at Web site http://www.ifoam.org/about_ifoam/around_world/aosc_pages/pdf/Northern-Uganda-Organic-Shea-Project.pdf (accessed March 10, 2013).
46IFOAM. 2007. Organic Agriculture and Gender Equality. Available at Web site http://www.ifoam.org/growing_organic/3_advocacy_lobbying/eng_leaflet_PDF/OA_Gender.pdf (accessed March 10, 2013).
47Kang, B. 2007. Women Lead the Way Back to Organic Farming. Retrieved from web: http://www.ifoam.org/growing_organic/1_arguments_for_oa/social_justice/women_lead_the_way.html (accessed March 10, 2013).
48Kassie, M., Zikhali, P., Manjur, K., and Edwards, S. 2009. Adoption of Organic Farming Techniques Evidence from a Semi-Arid Region of Ethiopia, Environment for Development Discussion Paper Series January 2009. Retrieved from web: http://www.rff.org/rff/documents/efd-dp-09-01.pdf (accessed March 10, 2013).
49Behrad-Far, A. and Farzanian, M. 2010. Agricultural extension and knowledge management in agriculture sector emphasizing the synergy between traditional and modern knowledge in AIS systems. The 3rd congress on Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension and Education, Mashhad, Iran, March 2–3, 2010.
50Sofia, P.K., Prasad, R., and Vijay, V.K. 2006. Organic farming-tradition reinvented. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 5(1):139142.
51IFOAM. 2006. The IFOAM Norms for Organic Production and Processing, Version 2005. IFOAM, Germany.
52IFAD. 2003. The Adoption of Organic Agricultue Among Small Farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Available at Web site http://www.ifad.org/evaluation/public_html/eksyst/doc/agreement/pl/organic.htm (accessed March 10, 2013).
53Ghorbani, M., Liaghati, H., and Nemati, F. 2011. Factors influencing the potential demand for credit by farmers on their tendency for producing greenhouse organic cucumbers in Khorasan Razavi Province. Environmental Sciences 8(3):3546.
54Ghorbani, M., Koocheki, A., and Mahmoudi, H. 2009. Estimation of virtual yield organic wheat: Case study of Khorasan Province. Environmental Sciences 6(3):2330.
55Pornpratansombat, P., Bauer, B., and Boland, H. 2011. The adoption of organic rice farming in north-eastern Thailand. Journal of Organic Systems 6(3):412.
56Baumüller, H. 2012. Facilitating agricultural technology adoption among the poor: The role of service delivery through mobile phones. ZEF Working Paper Series No. 93. Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Bonn.
57Khatoonabadi, A. 2005. A survey on some aspects of agricultural extension privatization in Isfahan province from the viewpoint of extension officers. Journal of Water and Soil Sciences, Isfahan University of Technology 9(1):4160.
58Azadi, H., Hosseininia, G.H., Zarafshani, K., Heydari, A., and Witlox, F. 2010. Factors influencing the success of animal husbandry cooperatives: A case study in Southwest Iran. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics 111(2):8999.
59Kalogeras, N., Kalaitzis, P., and Van Dijk, G. 2005. Cooperative strategic behaviour in organic food markets: a note. In Mattas, K. and Tsakiridou, E. (eds). Cahiers Options Méditerranéennes. Food Quality Products in the Advent of the 21st Century: Production, Demand and Public Policy. CIHEAM-IAMC Pub., 164, Chania, Greece, p. 115128.
60Karamidehkordi, E. and Hashemi, A. 2010. Farmers´ knowledge of integrated pest management: a case study in the Zanjan province in Iran. Innovation and Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Food Symposium (ISDA 2010), Montpellier, France, June 28–July 1, 2010.
61Nieberg, H. and Kuhnert, H. 2007. Support policy for organic farming in Germany. Landbauforschung Völkenrode 57:95106.
62Mahmoudi, H., Mahdavi Damghani, A.M., and Liaghati, H. 2008. An Introduction to Organic Agriculture. Jihad-Daneshgahi Press, Tehran.
63Bagheri, A. and Shahpasand, M.R. 2010. Investigating potato farmers' attitude in Ardebil plain towards sustainable agriculture practices. Journal of Iran Agricultural Economy and Development 2(41):231242.
64Karthikeyan, C., Veeraragavathatha, D., Karpagam, D. and Ayisha Firdouse, S. 2009. Traditional storage practices. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 8(4):564568.
65Iliopoulou, D., Douma, K., and Giourga, C. 2011. Motives and barriers to development of organic olive production. In Migliorini, P., Minotou, C., Lusic, D., Hashem, Y. and, Martinis, A. (eds). Book of Abstracts, International Conference on Organic Agriculture and Agro-Eco Tourism in the Mediterranean, DIO, September 16–18, 2011.
66Schoonbeek, S., Azadi, H., Mahmoudi, H., Derudder, B., De Maeyer, P., Witlox, F. in press. Organic agriculture and undernourishment in developing countries: main potentials and challenges. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2011.573886.
67Scialabba, N. 2000. Factors influencing organic agriculture policies with a focus on developing countries. IFOAM 2000 Scientific Conference, Basel, Switzerland, August 28–31, 2000.
68Taylor, A. 2006. Overview of the current state of organic agriculture in Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania and the opportunities for regional harmonization, UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity-building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development, Switzerland. Available at Web site http://www.unep.ch/etb/pdf/cbtfOA_study_text.pdf.
69Pornpratansombat, P., Bauer, B., and Boland, H. 2011. The adoption of organic rice farming in Northeastern Thailand. Journal of Organic Systems 6(3):412.
70Azadi, H. and Filson, G. 2009. Comparative study of agricultural extension systems: A systemic view. Outlook on Agriculture 38(4):337347.
71Kummer, S., Aigelsperger, L., Milestad, R., Chowdhury, A.H., and Vogl, C.R. 2010. Knowledge systems, innovations and social learning in organic farming – an overview Social innovation in organic farming. 9th European IFSA Symposium, Vienna (Austria), July 4–7, 2010.
72Esmaieli, B. 2010. The necessity of insurance services in Iran, considering the vulnerability of Iran to climate changes. Insurance World News Bulletin 148–149:413.
73Abdollahi, S. 2008. A study on organic agriculture development in Iran. Ministry of Agriculture. Agricultural research Institute, Tehran.
74Yaghubi, J. and Naseri, A. 2010. Investigating the mechanisms for supporting organic farmers in Iran, The First National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Products, Isfahan, Iran.
75Vairo, D., Haring, A.M., Dabbert, S., and Zanoli, R. 2006. Policies supporting organic food and farming in the EU: assessment and development by stakeholders in 11 European countries. Paper presentation at the 98th EAAE Seminar; Marketing Dynamics within the Global Trading System: New Perspectives, Greece, June 29–July 2, 2006.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • ISSN: 1742-1705
  • EISSN: 1742-1713
  • URL: /core/journals/renewable-agriculture-and-food-systems
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 107 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 560 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 16th July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.