Sustainability of organic versus conventional hazelnut production in Turkey

K. Demiryürek, N.İ. Abaci, V. Ceyhan
The aim of this research is to compare the sustainability of organic versus conventional hazelnut production in the Terme district of Samsun province, Turkey. Structured interviews were used to collect data from 64 randomly selected conventional and all 39 organic hazelnut producers living in the study area. The sustainability of organic production activities was analyzed in terms of economic, social and environmental aspects. A sustainability index was calculated based on 23 sustainability indicators. Research results showed that organic hazelnut production activities were relatively more sustainable than conventional organic production. With respect to economic sustainability, organic hazelnut producers had more income from both agricultural and non-agricultural sources, used more credit from the banks and were less risk averse than the conventional producers. Concerning environmental sustainability, the organic producers, as expected, had more diversified products, used more organic inputs, adopted more organic farming methods but needed more labor input than their conventional counterparts. As far as the social sustainability was concerned, the organic producers had more formal education and used more often and diverse sources of information than conventional producers. Both environmental and economic sustainability had more critical issues than social sustainability for both groups of producers. Supporting commercial organic fertilizer rather than organic compost and manure use endangered the sustainability. Thus, the growers were motivated to use inputs from their own farms and to decrease their dependence on commercial inputs from outside. In addition, the dependency to foreign markets and contract companies due to limited domestic market opportunities also threatens the sustainability. Agricultural products should be diversified rather than hazelnut monoculture, and the entire organic cropping system should be supported to integrate organic cropping system. Conventional growers should be trained to use more sustainable agricultural methods rather than excessive and incorrect use of chemically inputs. Organic producers should be encouraged to benefit from research, extension and financial support services.
Demiryürek, K., Abaci, N.İ. and Ceyhan, V. (2018). Sustainability of organic versus conventional hazelnut production in Turkey. Acta Hortic. 1226, 437-442
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1226.66
sustainability, sustainability indicators, organic farming, hazelnut, Corylus avellana

Acta Horticulturae