عنوان مقاله [English]
Saffron is one of export products which has a competitive advantage in Iran and saffron farmers need proper information in order to improve the quality of their agricultural performance. Thus, addressing and identification of their information behavior components, sources, and strategies as well as the challenges and problems would help the authorities to make proper policies and decisions. The present research has been conducted in order to compare elite saffron farmers’ information-searching behavior with that of normal saffron farmers in the South Khorasan province. The study population comprised of all the saffron farmers of South Khorasan province (N =17387). Using Morgan formula and cluster sampling, 375 people were selected for the purpose of this study. The results showed that saffron onion (M=3.58 of 5), pesticides and fertilizers (M=3.56) and farmland worker (3.54) were the main components of saffron farmers’ information-searching of the two groups, respectively. The sources of information for both groups included reference to past experience (M=2.68 of 5), neighboring saffron farmers (M=2.67), contact with informants (2.64) and other family members (M=2.64). The information available in local language (M=4 of 5), by native people (M=3.98), clear and intelligible information (M=3.98) and low cost (M=3.82) were among the main criteria that affect the behavior of the two groups in the use of information sources. Also they are confronted with common problems such as lack of attention to the needs of farmers (M=3.57 of 5), and insufficient number of technical experts (M=3.42). It was also found that there was no significant relationship between information searching behavior of elite and normal saffron farmers and their performance (r= -0.08, p= 0.133). Regarding the “lack of attention to the needs of farmers by technical experts” as the most major problem, South Khorasan Organization of Agricultural Extension is advised to design and implement relevant training courses based on the information needs of saffron farmers.
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