Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that influence Chinese apple farmers' willingness to adopt organic farming, paying a special attention to the role of information acquisition.
Design/methodology/approach - Given that the selection bias may occur when farmers themselves decide whether or not to acquire the information to understand the essence of organic farming, this study employs a recursive bivariate probit model to address the issue of the selection bias.
Findings - The empirical results indicate that farmers' decision to acquire information is positively affected by farmers' environmental awareness, access to credit and access to information. In particular, information acquisition appears to increase the likelihood of farmers' willingness to adopt organic farming by 35.9 percentage points on average.
Practical implications - The findings suggest that measures increasing farmers' information exposure can be promising policy interventions to induce adoption of organic farming.
Originality/value - While considerable evidence indicates that organic farming provides more benefits than conventional production practice, little is known about farmers' willingness to adopt in China. This paper provides a first attempt by examining the role of information acquisition in determining Chinese apple farmers' willingness to adopt.