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  • Author: S. H. Pushpa Malkanthi x
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Summary

Organic agriculture has the potential to reduce the negative impacts of conventional agricultural practices and enhance rural economic development. Since research on Sri Lankan farmers’ attitude towards organic agriculture has been rare, this research aims to explore the farmers’ viewpoint on organic agriculture. Two main rural districts were purposely selected for this investigation since these districts have a high potential for organic agriculture. Two Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions from each district and 75 farmers from the farming community of each DS division were randomly selected to form a sample of 300 farmers. Data were collected from July 2017 to April 2018 and analyzed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression. The results revealed that a majority of the farmers (74%) were well-aware of organic agriculture and agricultural extension programs, while training was the primary information source in both districts. As per the mean analysis, the farmers had a positive attitude towards health-related and environmental protection aspects. However, they had a negative attitude towards the complexity of organic agriculture and unavailability of a suitable market for organic products. Results of the binary logistic regression revealed that the education level of the farmers significantly affect their attitude towards organic agriculture. The availability of traditional knowledge and technology relevant to organic agriculture, favorable climatic condition, and some government support were the main potentials, while labor intensiveness was the main challenge. Thus, creating better marketing facilities for organic products, providing the required amenities for producing organic food, processing, and value addition will promote organic agriculture among more farmers, supporting sustainable development.