FACTORS AFFECTING THE ADOPTION OF SOILLESS PRODUCTION SYSTEM IN UAE
To examine the factors that could influence the decision of growers to use hydroponic production systems in UAE, a questionnaire, was developed and completed by extension agents through direct interviews with 141 growers. Logistic regression analysis was performed to test the theoretical model. Study shows the adoption rate among those growers who receive the information about hydroponics is relatively high. More than 50% of the growers who heard about this technology package start to implement it in their farms. However, adoption also depend to some other factors which based on their importance consisted of 1) Farm income importance; 2) Education; 3) Water salinity at the farms and negative relation with conducting post-harvest. There are other factors such as 1) Agricultural loan 2) Farm income satisfaction and 3) existence of desalination unit which although have some effect but not significant. Overall, it seems that soilless production system is very suitable for UAE socio-economic and agro-ecological status. However, growers’ acceptance of this new system represents one of the key issues that must be addressed to ensure the successful dissemination of the technology and sustainability of the achievements. Our study has shown that the most important factor that seems to influence growers’ acceptance of soilless production system is the importance of agricultural income and education which clearly indicate the importance of appropriate organizational infrastructure, training, and technical support.
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