Farmers' knowledge and skills levels in
environmentally sound agriculture in Adlum area 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
Concern about natural resources conservation is increasing worldwide. Some agricultural practices such as intensive use of chemicals, high consummation of water, mono-cropping, and deforestation have caused natural resources degradation. The study aims at studying the farmers in Adlum area of Saudi Arabia knowledge and skills levels in environmentally sound agriculture and some of their demographic characteristics. The study population consists of the 743 farmers in the area. A random sample representing 25% of the population was taken. The data were collected through personal interviews using questionnaire. Descriptive statistics (frequency distributions, means, standard deviations) were used to analyze the study data.
The findings indicate that the farmers' general knowledge and skills levels in environmentally sound agriculture ranged from low to moderate. The overall mean of farmers' knowledge was (2.6; SD = 0.46) and the overall mean of their skills was (2.7; SD = 0.46). The highest mean value for an item was reported for three statements in knowledge as well as in skills level: water conservation methods, utilization of organic manure, and rotational systems. The lowest farmers knowledge as well as in skills level were reported with the statements of controlling weeds and insects without the use of herbicides and insecticides. The study recommended extension education programs to enhance farmers' knowledge and skills levels in environmentally sound agriculture especially in controlling weeds and insects without the use of herbicides and insecticides.
The mean age of the respondents was 53.8 years and the agriculture was a secondary activity for 90.3 % of them. The findings show that 83.3% of the farmers live in urban areas. Just over one-third of the farmers (34%) reported high school or higher level of education