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Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume 277, 2020, 124039

Determination of the best strategies for development of organic farming: A SWOT – Fuzzy Analytic Network Process approach

Hanane Aghasafaria, Alireza Karbasia, Hosein Mohammadia, Roberto Calistib

Department of Agricultural Economics, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.


Organic farming pursues sustainable agricultural development and improves the sustainability of food systems. Hence, policy makers and researchers around the world tried to develop it focusing on some factors and large areas. However, organic farmlands have been recently decreasing in some countries. The goal of this study is to determine the best strategies for development of organic farming based on comprehensive factors affecting organic farming, considering the interdependence among them under the uncertainty in the decision-making environment with a focus on Iran’s Khorasan Razavi province, a country suffering from a decrease in organic farmland. In this study, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, fuzzy theory, and Analytic Network Process (ANP) method were utilized. Based on interview with 20 organic farming experts and the SWOT analysis, 28 factors affecting organic farming were identified and nine possible strategies for organic farming development were defined. The results of fuzzy and ANP methods indicated that developing consumers’ awareness programs is the best strategy with the priority of 0.276, followed by creating a competitive market for organic products, and planning to teach the principles of organic farming with the priority of 0.262 and 0.230, respectively. The findings provide guidelines for decision makers involved in organic farming development.

Keywords: Consumers’ awareness programs, Development, Fuzzy Analytic Network Process, Organic farming, Strategy, SWOT analysis.

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