Can water quality problems motivate conventional
farmers to convert to organic farming?
AUDREY VINCENT, PHILIPPE FLEURY
Recently, the conservation of water resources
has become a major issue
in many countries
because of the
increasing problems of water pollutions by agriculture. In this context, organic farming (OF) is seen as a
promising solution to this problem because of its regulation that prohibits the use of che
mical fertilisers and
Our hypothesis is that
water quality problems can be a motivation for conventional farmers to
convert to OF. This research is based on 65 farmers’ interviews (mainly conventional farmers). A qualitative
analysis of the int
erviews was carried out.
Six different farmer profiles have been identified depending on
farmer’s perception of the water question and on their declared willingness to convert to OF. Our results
show that the existence of a local problem of water quality c
an lead farmers to convert to OF. Actions set to
develop OF to respond the water quality problem can reach farmers who were not part of the classical pool
of “potential converters”.
Keywords: water quality, environment, conversion, organic farmer, motivation.