Farmer perception on organic fertilizer usage: A case study of Beliaththa DSD
The agriculture sector plays a vital role in the food supply mechanism in Sri Lanka.
There is an increasing interest in organic agriculture practices in the global context, due to the supply of healthy food and less harm to the environment. Concerning the large body of positive impacts of organic agriculture, Sri Lanka is also trying to move towards organic farming practices. Within this context, this study aims to assess farmers' perceptions of organic fertilizer usage. This study is based on the Beliatta divisional secretariat division, Hambantota district of Southern Province. The sample size is 120 paddy farmers and all of them are selected by using a simple random sampling technique. A descriptive research method was used to analyze the data. This study used different aspects to examine farmer perception of organic fertilizer usage. The study results show that majority of the farmers use organic fertilizer due to environmentally friendly, healthy, and low production cost. At the same time, the majority of the farmers are not agreed about the production volume and appearance of the product. Further, farmers have doubts about market opportunities for organic products. Moreover, large-scale farmers are less likely to move into organic fertilizer next five years. In contrast, small-scale farmers are very likely to use organic fertilizer on their farmland. In addition to that, according to survey details, majority of respondents responded that the mixed method is more practical than zero usage of chemical fertilizer at the initial stage.
KEYWORDS: Farmers perception, Organic fertilizer, Chemical fertilizer