Palestine Technical University Research Journal


Organic farming has achieved significant growth in developing countries. However, it is still in some areas such as Gaza strip at embryonic stage. Introduction and promotion of organic farming would need more information about economic feasibility of shifting from the existing conventional farms to organic farming system. This is the main aim of this study. Data was collected from 100 randomly selected farmers in southern area of Gaza strip using standard questionnaire. Additional focus group discussions were conducted for further qualitative analyses. Data was also collected from the organic farm of Safe Agriculture Association where vegetables are organically produced and marketed. Gross margin and comparative analyses were used to describe cost structure of conventional and organic production and to assess economic potentialities to shift to organic farming. Results varied among vegetable crops as some crops showed very high economic potential to shift to organic farming while other crops did not. Major reasons for crops with good potential were higher yield under organic farming, premium market prices and lower production costs. Major reasons for lower economic potential to shift were the significant lower yield and higher production costs. The study recommends further technical research to explore organic production techniques that allows for higher yield and lower production cost. The study also recommends further market research to investigate consumers' preferences and willingness to pay for organic products.