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Compliance of small-scale Organic Tea Farmers with Organic Standards: A Study in Sri Lanka

Authors:

S. M. C. B. Karalliyadda ,

Kagoshima University, JP
About S. M. C. B.
The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences
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T. Kazunari

Saga University, JP
About T.
Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Purpose: Authenticity of organic tea has been questioned recently due to some evidence of contaminated organic tea in the market. Although producers’ compliance with organic standards (OS) is a necessity to ensure the safety of organic tea and consumers’ trust, the lack of empirical studies has  become a timely need to understand the authenticity of organic tea production systems. Therefore, this study attempts  to investigate the certified organic tea (COT) farmers’ compliance behaviour with OS using a study in Sri Lanka.

 

Research Method: A cross-sectional field survey was conducted among 77 small-scale COT farmers in the Central and Uva provinces. These farmers were accessed through two coordinating organizations. Data was collected using interviews, structured questionnaires and observations and analyzed using descriptive statistics.

 

Findings: Results show that higher profits and benefits from certificate holders are the main reasons to select COT farming than conventional tea farming. Generally, farmers perceive high discouragement violating OS and have mixed attitudes on different aspects of organic farming. Farmers’ compliance behaviour towards OS is not perfect and vary among OS due to various reasons, i.e. expected loss by being noncompliant, group farming, availability of support services, financial ability and awareness about hazardous contaminants. Effective quality assurance system and hazardous free neighbourhood potentially facilitate the farmers’ compliance behaviour. However, the unavailability of support services, lack of financial capacities, and farmers’ unawareness of contaminants during handling seem to hinder the compliance.

 

Originality: Understanding the first step of COT production is novel and provide insights to implement needful actions by those who are concerned and responsible for the authenticity of COT production.

How to Cite: Karalliyadda, S.M.C.B. and Kazunari, T., 2020. Compliance of small-scale Organic Tea Farmers with Organic Standards: A Study in Sri Lanka. Journal of Agricultural Sciences – Sri Lanka, 15(1), pp.1–18. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jas.v15i1.8668
Published on 01 Jan 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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