Assessing farmers’ intention to adopt sustainable management practices for soil conservation across

Jo Bijttebier, Greet Ruysschaert, Fleur Marchand, Renske Hijbeek, Annette Pronk, Norman Schlatter, Gema Guzmán, Alina Syp, M. Graf Werner , Luca Bechini, Nadia Guiffant, Erwin Wauters

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingC1: Articles in proceedingspeer-review

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    Abstract

    During the past decennia, soil conservation practices (SCPs) have been developed in order to maintain or restore soil health which is essential to the resilience of the farm. However, the adoption rate in practice is rather low. Amongst other reasons, these practices might lack onfarm compatibility, or farmers may lack confidence in the proposed measures. To increase the
    adoption rate of SCPs, capturing farmers’ opinions, given their specific farming context, can aid future strategies to get the SCPs implemented. Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify and compare different barriers and drivers towards the adoption of SCPs across 25 major farm type agri-environmental zone combinations in 8 European countries. To unravel farmer’s motivation
    and ability to implement a certain SCP, we applied a sequential mixed method approach based on the theory of planned behavior, a socio-psychological framework to predict human behavior. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with farmers reveal a first indication of possible barriers and drivers. These serve as the basis for a broad quantitative survey in each of the 25 major farm
    type zones, all characterized by their own soil, climate, regulatory and socio-economic context. Due to this context, the selected SCPs in the questionnaire differ among the major farm type zones, although with cover crops and reduced and/or non-inversion tillage, two wide-spread practices, were included across nearly all farm type zones. An EU-wide comparison between different
    regions allows us to better relate differences in barriers, motivators and farmers’ intention to differences in bio-physical, economic, institutional, social and regulatory conditions. To obtain a correct interpretation and clarification of the most striking results, we organize regional focus groups with experts and farmers. The results will offer valuable insights to advice EU policy, extension and scientific research. They will be able to take into account the specific context of the different major farm types when developing strategies to increase the adoption rate of SCPs. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement No. 289782 (Catch-C)
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIFSA Conference proceedings
    Number of pages9
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event11th European IFSA Symposium - Berlijn, Germany
    Duration: 1-Apr-20144-Apr-2014

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