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A Swot Analysis of Organic Dried Fig

Archive of SID 1387 ‫ﻋـﻠـﻮم ﻣﺤـﯿـﻄﯽ ﺳﺎل ﺷﺸﻢ، ﺷﻤﺎره اول، ﭘﺎﯾﯿﺰ‬ ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Vol.6, No.1, Autumn 2008 101-110 A SWOT Analysis of Organic Dried Fig Production in Iran Majid Javanmard1* , Hossein Mahmoudi2 1- Department of Food Science, Institute of Chemical Technologies, Iranian Research Organization for Science & Technology (IROST) 2- Department of Agroecology, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C. Abstract The aim of this study is to examine the
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  ¡¡   مﻮـﻠـﻋ ﺤﻣ ـ  ﯿلوا   هرﺎﻤﺷ   ،ﻢﺸﺷ   لﺎﺳ   ﯽﻄـ ،ﺰﯿﯾﺎﭘ  1387  ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Vol.6, No.1 , Autumn 2008   101   مﻮـﻠـﻋ   ﯽﻄـﯿـﺤﻣلوا   هرﺎﻤﺷ   ،ﻢﺸﺷ   لﺎﺳ،   ﺰﯿﯾﺎﭘ  1387  ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Vol.6, No.1, Autumn 2008   101-110 A SWOT Analysis of Organic Dried FigProduction in Iran Majid Javanmard 1 * , Hossein Mahmoudi 2   1- Department of Food Science, Institute of Chemical Technologies, Iranian ResearchOrganization for Science & Technology (IROST) 2- Department of Agroecology, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C. Abstract The aim of this study is to examine the current situation of Iranian organic fig growing and exportation. SWOT analysiswas applied to the production, processing, storage, exportsand structure of market competition and distribution aspects.The data were gathered using two methods, consisting of firstly of documentary studies and secondly a survey study.The research instrument used was a questionnaire. Theresults have been presented in a SWOT frame, and theresults from this research are divided into four categories asfollows. (1) strengths - such as the supply of an effectiveorganic figs, the supply of an small size product, lowestraining climate and product with low moisture content; (2)weaknesses - such as lack of research and development of high-yielding varieties and domestication, lack of cooledand controlled atmosphere storages facilities in region, theabsence of a national logo and standards for organic products, lack of fig processing facilities, lack of wellequipped and specialized laboratories, lack of appropriate processing, storage and packaging system, and having nointegrated, systemic approach in organic fruits growing; (3)opportunities - such as dry farming, lower cost of  production, the geostrategic conditions of Iran (the fastestgrowing market of organic consumption in the world, regionand Iran ’ s reputation as a dried fruits exporter); and (4)threats - such as drought and climate change, fluctuation of fig price, irrigation of orchards, bulk selling, merging lowquality and un-organic figs from other regions, limitedresearch and development centres in this case, lack of developmental, extension and advisory services. Keywords  : Dried fig, Organic, SWOT analysis, Iran هدﺎﻔﺘﺳا   ﺎﺑ   نﺎﺒﻬﺘﺳا   ﻪﻘﻄﻨﻣ   رد   ﮏﯿﻧﺎﮔرا   ﺮﯿﺠﻧا   ﺪﯿﻟﻮﺗ    ﯽﺑﺎﯾزرا   ﻞﯿﻠﺤﺗ    زا SWOT   دﺮﻤﻧاﻮﺟ   ﺪﯿﺠﻣ 1 ٭ يدﻮﻤﺤﻣ   ﻦﯿﺴﺣ   ، 2   1-   ﯾﺎﻨﺻ    هﺪﮑﺸﻫوﮋﭘ   ،ﯽﯾاﺬﻏ    ﻊﯾﺎﻨﺻ    هوﺮﮔ ﺶﻫوﮋﭘ   نﺎﻣزﺎﺳ    ،ﯽﯾﺎﯿﻤﯿﺷ    ﻊ يﺎﻫ ناﺮﯾا    ﯽﺘﻌﻨﺻ    و    ﯽﻤﻠﻋ   2 -  ﯽﺘﺸﻬﺑ    ﺪﯿﻬﺷ    هﺎﮕﺸﻧاد    ،ﯽﻄﯿﺤﻣ    مﻮﻠﻋ    هﺪﮑﺸﻫوﮋﭘ   ،ﮏﯾژﻮﻟﻮﮐا    يزروﺎﺸﮐ    هوﺮﮔ    هﺪﯿﮑﭼ   هﮋﯾو   هﺎﮕﯾﺎﺟ   نﺎﻬﺟ   رد   ﮏﯿﻧﺎﮔرا   تﻻﻮﺼﺤﻣ   ﺪﯿﻟﻮﺗﻦﯾا   رازﺎﺑ    و   ﺖﺳا   ﻪﺘﻓﺎﯾ   يا   تﻻﻮﺼﺤﻣﺖﺳا   ﺶﯾاﺰﻓا   لﺎﺣ   رد   زور   ﻪﺑ    زور . ندﻮﺑ    اراد   ﺎﺑ    ناﺮﯾا   رﻮﺸﮐ د   ﻪﺑﺮﺠﺗ،ﮏﯿﻧﺎﮔرا   ﺖﺸﮐ    ياﺮﺑ    ﺪﻌﺘﺴﻣ   ﻂﯾاﺮﺷ   ﺰﯿﻧ    و   يزروﺎﺸﮐ    ﺮﻣا   رد   ﻪﻨﯾﺮﯾﯽﻣﮏﯿﻧﺎﮔرا   تﻻﻮﺼﺤﻣ   ﺪﯿﻟﻮﺗ   رد   ﺎﯿﺳآ    ﻢﻬﻣ   يﺎﻫرﻮﺸﮐ    زا   ﯽﮑﯾ   ﻪﺑ    ﺪﻧاﻮﺗدﻮﺷ   ﻞﯾﺪﺒﺗ . ﺖﺳا   هدروﺎﯿﻧ    ﺖﺳد   ﻪﺑ    ﯽﻘﯿﻓﻮﺗ   ﻪﻨﯿﻣز   ﻦﯾا   رد   ﺮﺿﺎﺣ   لﺎﺣ   رد   ﺎﻣا . ﺖﺻﺮﻓ   ﺖﺧﺎﻨﺷ   ﺖﻬﺟ   رد   ﺪﻨﻤﻓﺪﻫ   تﺎﻌﻟﺎﻄﻣ   مﺎﺠﻧاﺖﻬﺟ   رد   ﻞﯿﻠﺤﺗ   و   ﺎﻫرا   ﺪﯿﻟﻮﺗ   نﺎﮑﻣاو   ﻢﻬﻣ   رﺎﯿﺴﺑ    تاردﺎﺻ   و   ﯽﻠﺧاد   يﺎﻫرازﺎﺑ    ياﺮﺑ    ﮏﯿﻧﺎﮔ ﺖﺳا   يروﺮﺿ . ﻦﯿﯿﻌﺗ   و   ﺶﯾﺎﻤﯿﭘ    شور   زا   هدﺎﻔﺘﺳا   ﺎﺑ    ﺮﺿﺎﺣ   ﻪﻟﺎﻘﻣ   رﻮﻈﻨﻣ   ﻦﯾا   ﻪﺑ ﺖﺻﺮﻓ   ،ﻒﻌﺿ   ،تﻮﻗ    طﺎﻘﻧ ﺎﻫﺪﯾﺪﻬﺗ   و   ﺎﻫ ) SWOT ( هار   ﻪﺋارا   ﻪﺑ و   ﺎﻫرﺎﮐ ﮏﯿﻧﺎﮔرا   ﺮﯿﺠﻧا   ﻪﻌﺳﻮﺗ   و   ﺪﯿﻟﻮﺗ   ﺖﻬﺟ   رد   يﮋﺗاﺮﺘﺳانﺎﺘﺳا   نﺎﺒﻬﺘﺳا   ﻪﻘﻄﻨﻣ   رد   ﻪﺘﺧادﺮﭘ    سرﺎﻓﺖﺳا .  هژاوﺪﯿﻠﮐ ﺎﻫ  : ﻞﯿﻠﺤﺗ   ،ﮏﯿﻧﺎﮔرا   ﺪﯿﻟﻮﺗ   ،ﺮﯿﺠﻧا SWOT   * Corresponding author. E-mail Address: javanmard@irost.ir   Archive of SIDwww.SID.ir   ¡¡   مﻮـﻠـﻋ ﺤﻣ ـ  ﯿلوا   هرﺎﻤﺷ   ،ﻢﺸﺷ   لﺎﺳ   ﯽﻄـ ،ﺰﯿﯾﺎﭘ  1387  ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Vol.6, No.1 , Autumn 2008   102 Introduction Organic farming is a farming system that usesenvironmentally friendly methods of weed, pest anddisease control, prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, emphasizes animal welfarein animal breeding, takes care of the overall harmonyof agrienergy and encourages recycling of rawmaterials. Organic farming has been applied for several dozen years as a worldwide strategy that hasenjoyed extensive public support and that strives toachieve sustainable development and protection of theenvironment on the earth. (Willer and Yussefi, 2007)In developing countries, certified organicagricultural production is limited. However, asignificant share of agricultural land is under traditional or alternative production methods. Suchareas could be converted to certified agriculturerelatively easily, provided that certification costs can be kept low. Iranian traditional agriculture resemblesorganic agriculture in many ways and, for example,some products from mountainous regions arecompletely organic. There are several reasons to arguethat there is a good capacity in Iranian field cropcultivation for making the transition to organicagriculture (Mahmoudi et al. , 2007). Fig production inEstahban is a good example for examining thisquestion.The fig ( Ficus carica  , Moraceae) probablysrcinated in Western Asia, and spread to theMediterranean (Tous and Ferguson, 1996). Fig fruitsare a very nourishing food and are also used inindustrial products (Guesmi et al. , 2006). Acomparison of the mineral element contents of figswith that of other fruits indicates that figs have ahigher calcium content than apples, dates, grapes, andstrawberries and contain more potassium than applesand dates (Vinson, 1999). Figs have a greatimportance in nutrition due to being important sourcesof carbohydrates. They contain essential amino acidsand are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2 and C and minerals.The fruit is usually consumed fresh locally or in dried,canned, and preserved forms. Several countries importdried figs or fig paste with the main exporters of driedfigs and paste being Turkey and the USA (Sadhu,1990). The fig is a fairly important world crop, with anestimated annual production of 1,077,211 tons of fruit(FAO, 2003). Iran is the third largest producer andexporter of figs, having produced more than 87,520tones in 2005 and exported 1,610 tonesto variouscountries in 2005 (FAO, 2007).Most of the figs inIran are produced in the Estahban region of FarsProvince(Figure 1). The capital of Estahban County,Estahban has been one of the most famous providersof fig to the world; it is also one of the biggest producers of saffron. This region has a 90% share of dried fig production in Iran which is dried on the tree(Figure 2B). Figs are spread over either the ground or on a platform (Eshfang) in a thin layer directlyexposed to the sunlight for less moisture content(Figure 2C).The Argentine organic horticultural sector has been analyzed using SWOT-analysis (FAO, 2001).Results identified the sector  ’ s strengths and successes, but also list its limiting factors. Its strengths werethanks to its climate, natural soil fertility and other  physical conditions combined with a low pest pressure, meaning that organic production is feasiblethroughout virtually all the whole country, withoutmajor difficulties or strong adjustments toconventional production methods. Access to credit,limited availability of bio-pesticides, a youthful andinexperienced organic sector, and the extensivecoverage of conventional agriculture are assessed asweaknesses, along with constraints incommercialization of the product and lack of contractswith the importers abroad.Organic exports, currently the destination of 85 percent of domestic organic production, are poised tocontinue to be the strongest growing sector. Thanks tothe natural conditions of Argentina, its equitablelegislation, its competent control mechanisms and itsgood air and sea links, the generally high qualityrequirements for imports into developed countrymarkets are met without any major problems being  Archive of SIDwww.SID.ir   ¡¡   مﻮـﻠـﻋ ﺤﻣ ـ  ﯿلوا   هرﺎﻤﺷ   ،ﻢﺸﺷ   لﺎﺳ   ﯽﻄـ ،ﺰﯿﯾﺎﭘ  1387  ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Vol.6, No.1 , Autumn 2008   103 Estahban Figure 1 . Geographic position of the sampling region.   Fars province A   B C  Figure 2 . (A) Fig farms, (B) dried figs on the tree and (C) an E shfang  (sun drying place).   identified. One obvious factor is competition from other countries with similar advantages (such as climate andopposite seasons), such as Chile, Brazil, and SouthAfrica. On-going improvements in storage methods of  perishable products allow for competing producers of organic fruits and vegetables in the northern Hemisphere(e.g. Spain and Italy) to widen the availability of organic products throughout the year. This may strongly affectexport opportunities from Argentina (and other southernHemisphere exporters). Distrust among groups of organicconsumers in importing countries about the reliability of certification mechanisms abroad is another factor whichmight limit export possibilities from countries oversees.(Ferguson, 2004)`A similar study was conducted for Chilean organichorticulture (FAO, 2001). The opposite growingseason compared with that of the northern consumer markets, the variety of climates in its long North-South territory combined with the gift of naturallyfertile soil and clean water from the Andes Mountainshave been strengths; being a relatively young sector with no special financial arrangements for farmers areits weaknesses. Competition from producers withsimilar comparative advantages (e.g. a supply of freshoff-season products) for the northern markets andgenerally higher than conventional production costs,due to lower yields and costs for certification andcontrol constitute threats to it.  Archive of SIDwww.SID.ir   ¡¡   مﻮـﻠـﻋ ﺤﻣ ـ  ﯿلوا   هرﺎﻤﺷ   ،ﻢﺸﺷ   لﺎﺳ   ﯽﻄـ ،ﺰﯿﯾﺎﭘ  1387  ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Vol.6, No.1 , Autumn 2008   104 The purpose of this paper is to analyse thestrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats(SWOT) of organic dried fig production in Iran. Materials and Methods Basic concepts  SWOT analysis has its srcins in the 1960s (Learned et al. , 1965) and is an analytical and strategic planningtool often used in a participatory planning approach.Originally, the method was developed for strategic planning for marketing purposes. SWOT is only atool in a planning process and has to be based on asound knowledge of the current situation and trends.The outputs of a SWOT analysis are structured basicinformation, a common understanding of reality and aset of common strategic options.The two main components of SWOT are: ·   Indicators of the internal situation described byexisting strengths and weaknesses:- A strength is defined as any internal asset in terms of know-how, technology, motivation andentrepreneurial spirit, finance, business links etc.This can help to exploit opportunities and to fightoff threats,- A weakness  is an internal condition or any internaldeficit which endangers the competitive position of a region or hampers the exploitation of opportunities, ·   Indicators of the external environment  described byexisting threats and unexplored opportunities.- An opportunity  is any external circumstance or characteristic which favors the demand of the regionor where the region is enjoying a competitiveadvantage,- A threat  is a challenge of an unfavourable trend or of any external circumstance which willunfavourably influence the position of the region.The analysis of the SWs and OTs results in a provisional goal formulation, a provisionaldevelopment strategy and a priority ranking of actionsto be undertaken in the short, medium and long termsto attain the development goal (Dyson, 2004).SWOT analysis of external opportunities andthreats as well as the internal strengths and weaknessesof the enterprises is important for strategy formulationand development. The purpose of the analysis of external opportunities and threats is to evaluatewhether an enterprise can seize opportunities andavoid threats when facing an uncontrollable externalenvironment, such as fluctuating prices, politicaldestabilization, social transition and change in the ruleof law. The purpose of the analysis of internalstrengths and weaknesses is to evaluate how anenterprise carries out its internal work, such asmanagement, work efficiency, research anddevelopment. If used correctly, SWOT can provide agood basis for successful strategy formulation (Chang et al  ., 2006). A review of past documents on SWOTanalysis reveals that most presented a literaldescription of the analysis and few conductedquantified analysis. As planning processes are oftencomplicated by numerous criteria andinterdependencies, it may be that utilization of SWOTis insufficient. Study design A cross-sectional observational study was conductedon fig farming in the Estahban region. Observationswere conducted at four separate geographical areas,namely the northern, central, western and eastern areasof this region.  Data collection process  The data were gathered from two methods thatconsists of: (1) documentary studies - study of documents, yearbooks, papers and other availablereferences; and (2) a survey study - interviews withfarmers, exporters, processors, technologies,academics, specialists, experts, governmentalauthorities and professional Iranian fig growers. Theresearch instrument was a questionnaire that has beendesigned with open questions. 150 persons from theaforementioned categories were interviewed. Theresults have been presented in a SWOT frame and  Archive of SIDwww.SID.ir 
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