Exploring educational needs of «Young Farmers» in Precision Agriculture in Greece

Using clustering methodologies the “Young farmers” of the Region of Central Macedonia (Sample: 492 “Young Farmers” out of 3,875 beneficiaries) have been classified based on their educational needs in PA. In particular, employing a two-step cluster analysis the “Young farmers” were classified in four discernible clusters in order to explore the different levels of their PA’s educational needs (Kountios Georgios, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2016).

 

The farmers of the first cluster, “Interested PA Farmers”, (18.3%) are keen to follow educational courses related to every proposed section. The «Young Farmers» of this cluster appear to be highly interested among all clusters to participate in training courses that concern PA (result – based performance management systems and variable flow systems) as well as Internet and online specialized applications (update via internet, e-banking, e-mailing, e-selling).

 

The second cluster, “Potential Computer Users”, includes 120 «Young Farmers» (24.4%). These are farmers who are particularly interested in educational courses on issues related to acquisition of basic skills in using a computer (word/excel, internet, recording of data exploitation). Simultaneously, they declare limited interest in fathoming and in training in more specialized applications.

 

The third cluster, “Indifferent Farmers”, is the largest one and counts 186 «Young Farmers» (37.8%). It includes primarily those who don’t declare a real educational interest in any of the proposed sections. Indeed, apart from training in how to use e-mail, a weighted average of remaining training modules is in all cases below the average of the sample.

 

Regarding the last cluster, “Potential PA Farmers”, it is a small enough group, as it numbers only 96 individuals (19.5%). It includes «Young Farmers» who declare low interest in educational courses as the weighted average of the cluster (3.67) is below the average of the sample (3.79). However, they express specialized interest in three types of courses. The first concerns the PA and in particular data recording performance management systems. The second type of training involves using internet for information research and, lastly, providing e-selling services.