Agri-environmental attitudes of Chinese farmers – The impact of social and cognitive determinants

Chinas’ successfully increased food production during the last 30 years has caused significant negative external impacts and subsequent escalating environmental costs (Ash and Edmonds, 1998). This dilemma has recently become a popular issue and the government attaches great importance towards a more sustainable agricultural production (UNDP, 2006). The challenge is to enhance well-grounded approaches that accomplish of effective agricultural trainings, encouraging farmers to adopt optimized practices. According to recent decision-making theories, a successful implementation is also closely related to the target group’s social and cognitive preferences. In order to get more information about farmers’ inherent decision-making factors an explorative quantitative survey of 394 farmers was conducted in Shandong Province. Next to descriptive economic and agronomic analyses, a structural equation model gave evidence that beside farmers’ economic reasons, values and guānxi-relationships indeed show an influence on the extracted agri-environmental attitude factors as well as on manifest behaviour variables. Concluding results reveal the farmers varying preferences and give explanations out of the social and cognitive paths to explain why they behave different or have other focussed attitudes. Finally, recommendations for more effective training methods are given that consider the farmers’ individual motivations.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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