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Consumer and Industry Professional Perceptions of the Farming Industry in Trinidad and Tobago
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Agricultural producers and consumers are experiencing a communication disconnect as the population shifts from rural to urban societies. It is critical to assess producer and consumer perspectives to create a functional agricultural environment. The purpose of this study was to describe the consumer market and the farming industry environments in Trinidad and Tobago through consumers’ perceptions of their produce, a comparison of student and consumer perceptions of their produce, and agricultural professionals’ perceptions of the industry environment. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to complete this study. The study of consumers’ perceptions of their produce provided a quantitative description of attitudes held about produce origin and growing methods and their effect on pricing. An instrument was developed to measure the three constructs. Data were collected in farmers markets. Descriptive statistics were used for reporting consumer perceptions and demographics. The results of this study suggest that consumers are supportive of local, organically grown produce for their health and environmental benefits. A second study described students’ perceptions of their produce in comparison with consumers’ perceptions. The Culture and Consumer Behavior Interaction Model of Luna and Gupta provided the framework to explore the effects of cultural values and market communications on consumer behavior. Data were collected from university students using a questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used for reporting student perceptions and demographics; the data were compared with the consumer data from the first study. The results of this study suggest students and consumers have different cultural values and access to marketing communication and, therefore, behave differently when purchasing produce. The third study was a qualitative case study exploring agricultural industry professionals’ perceptions of the industry environment. Rogers’ theory of diffusion provided the framework to explore information access for producers in Trinidad and Tobago. Data were collected through interviews. Crop production methods, sources of information, and perceived needs to improve the industry emerged as themes. The results suggest the need for a standardized definition of organic growing methods, a centralized location of information and training materials, governmental support and public recognition of agriculture efforts, and career potential for youth interested in the farming industry.
Agricultural Technology Diffusion
Trinidad and Tobago
Sandlin, M'Randa R. (2013). Consumer and Industry Professional Perceptions of the Farming Industry in Trinidad and Tobago. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from