Motivation and values of farmers in Lebanon: a comparison between organic and conventional agricultural producers
New Medit, vol 15, n.2, (June 2016), pp. 70-80
Jel classification: D22, B59
In Lebanon, the agricultural sector suffers from both internal and external problems that opposed its development. Relatively high production costs, unregulated use of chemicals and the absence of extension services can be considered the most important in addition to groundwater pollution, high-level migration towards cities, lack of economic policy for internal and external market, and finally the inability of the government to finance the sector. In this context, organic farming might be considered as a possible alternative to the current crisis of the sector, and could be a solution to many of the abovementioned problems. In an attempt to thoroughly understand why Lebanese farmers do not apply the organic methods of production, this paper illustrates the results of a study on farmers’ motivations for adopting either the organic or the conventional farming practices. In order to carry out the research, the means-end approach (Reynolds and Gutman, 1988) has been applied. The analysis methodology traditionally used for consumer analysis has been modified and adapted to investigate the cognitive structures (objective networks) of 35 Lebanese farmers. The results help understand the reasons determining the choice of the type of agriculture to adopt and underlie the diversity of the motivations between organic and conventional farmers.
farmers’ motivations, hard laddering, organic agriculture, means-end chain, values, Lebanon