Farmers attitudes toward sustainable
AL-Kharj governorate of Saudi Arabia
Dr. Suaiban Sultan AL-Subaiee
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology
College of Food and Agricultural Sciences
King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451
Phone: + 9661-467-8416 Fax: + 9661-467-8415
Sustainable agriculture is considered a significant component of Saudi strategic plans and recently has become a serious concern among Saudi scientists and professionals. The study addressed farmers' attitudes toward sustainable agriculture, some demographic characteristics of the farmers in AL-Kharj governorate, and the relationships between demographic characteristics of the farmers and their attitudes toward sustainable agriculture. The study population was all 776 farmers in the area. Random sample by 25% of the population was taken. The date were collected through personals interview using questionnaire. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze data. Descriptive statistics (frequency distributions, means, standard deviations) and correlations were used to address the study objectives.
The findings indicate that the farmers generally had a positive attitude toward sustainable agriculture concepts. The highest mean value for an item was reported for two statements chemical residues on many fruits and vegetables pose a significant health threat to the consumer and water conservation methods should be used to save limited water resources. The lowest perceptions of farmers were reported with the statements of the possibility of controlling fungi and many insects without the use of fungicides and insecticides. The mean age of the respondents was 56 years and 79.9% of the farmers were identified educated. The agriculture was a secondary activity for 91.8 % of the farmers. The findings indacte significant relationships between some farmers characteristics and limited statements of sustainable agriculture concepts. How ever, the findings show no significant relationships between farmers characteristics and their overall attitudes to waved sustainable agriculture.
The findings show that 97.4% of the farmers were interested to use sustainable agriculture methods and 96.9% reported that they would be willing to attend sustainable agriculture extension programs.
The study concludes that quick planning and implementation of extension programs to enhance farmers' attitudes toward sustainable agriculture is necessary. In addition, the study recommends encouraging farmers to use sustainable agriculture practices and establishing sustainable agriculture centers to provide technical and extension information for farmers interested in using sustainable agriculture methods.