The Effect of Some Socio- Economic Factors on The Prevalence and Adoption of Mushroom Cultivation in the Syrian Rural Areas

Shadia Awad
General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research-
Salamiya Research Center
Faculty of Agriculture, Aleppo University,
2009

Abstract

Poverty, malnutrition and unemployment are the major basic obstacles prevailing in some rural areas. Some Syrian rural areas suffer from drought and low rainfall. Most farmers earn livelihood from rainfed agriculture cattle breeding. Hence, their income is unstable because environmental conditions have great effect on agriculture.
Agriculture has faced many obstacles due to poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, low production and lack of health awareness.
Several Extension and Rural Developmental projects implemented by the public sector (e.g. The Syrian Ministry of Agriculture) are adopting innovative approaches to achieve socio-economic development of rural area, such as mushroom cultivation. It  is a form of agricultural intensification that help farmers achieve reliable income. The establishment of mushroom cultivation requires less input, simple infrastructural organization and less water compared to other crops. Production could be year round, allowing the farmers a sustainable income according to market demand.
The social, cultural, educational, and conceptual framework of mushroom farmers is the limiting factor for the success of all the efforts aiming at spread of innovations and adoption.
Objectives:
1.    Identify the socio-economic characteristics of mushroom farmers.
2.     Identify the socio-economic factors influencing the prevalence and adoption of mushroom cultivation.
3.     Determine the relative importance of each socio-economic factor  influencing  the prevalence of mushroom cultivation and the accumulated influence.
4.     Determine the relative importance of each socio- economic factor  influencing  the degree adoption of mushroom cultivation and the accumulated influence of them in the degree of adoption of mushroom cultivation.
5.     Identify the most obstacles facing the application of mushroom cultivation by farmers.
6.     Identify the farmer’s opinions and suggestions to meet these obstacles.
7.     Identify agricultural information sources through the stages of adoption process.
–    Data were collected by personal interview (questionnaires) from all farmers in  study areas. The number of individuals of the research is 120 people in 30 villages.
–  Statistical programs (SPSS) to analyze statistical data and  process collected data were used, including quality and quantity variables.
Results:
– There is a positive significant correlation at the significance level (0.05) between the prevalence of mushroom cultivation and the following independent variables: age, social participation, and available loans.
– Using step-wise multiple regression and correlation analytical model to estimate the proportion of  contribution of the independent variables to explaining the total variance for the prevalence of mushroom cultivation. The results show the significance of this model till third step at F = 5.101 at (0.05) significance level, the determination coefficient reached (0.117). There are three variables responsible for about (12%) of the total variation in prevalence of mushroom cultivation: social participation, age and available loans.
– There is a positive significant correlation at the significance level (0.05) between the adoption of mushroom cultivation and attitudes towards world openness.
– There is a negative significant correlation at the significance level (0.05) between the available loans and adoption.
– There is a positive significant correlation at the significance level (0.01) between the mushroom cultivation adoption and the attitudes towards general change.
– As for the use of step-wise multiple regression and correlation an analytical model to estimate the proportion of contribution of the independent variables to explaining the total variance for the adoption of mushroom cultivation, the results have illustrated the significance of this model in first step at ( F = 5.833) at (0.01) significance level. The determination coefficient reached (0.047). One variable is responsible for about (5%) of the total variance in mushroom cultivation adoption: attitudes towards general change.
– The results show that there are some obstacles and difficulties facing farmers in adopting mushroom cultivation such as mixture of seeds packages, low productivity, high price of seeds, outbreak of diseases, poor production marketing, low profit, poor training, etc.
– The study indicated to the most important proposals and recommendations by the farmers to progress mushroom cultivation, and spread among farmer: such as updating of packages, reception of production at suitable price and time, training of farmers, etc.
key words:  innovation of adoption,  mushroom, cultivation