Proceedings

Theory Of Reasoned Action And Its Integration With Economic Modelling In Linking Farmers’ Attitudes And Adoption Behaviour – An Illustration From The Analysis Of The Uptake Of Livestock Technologies In The South West Of England

The behavioural intentions of a sample of livestock farmers in the south-west of England towards new technologies were
analysed within a Theory of Reasoned Action (TORA) framework, in order to explore reasons for the apparently low rate at
which research-based knowledge is being transferred to the livestock industry. Correlations between components of attitudes
(outcome beliefs and evaluations), subjective norms (normative beliefs and motivation to comply) and behavioural intentions
were integrated with Positivistic Mathematical Programming (PosMP) to create a set of farm type models, which can predict the
potential rate and equilibrium level of uptake of different kinds of technologies. Data relating to techniques for oestrus detection
in dairy cows are used to illustrate the analysis and to show how this approach can help improve the targeting of knowledge
and technology transfer strategies. Linking the Theory of Reasoned Action findings with the Positivistic Mathematical
Programming approach identified where there is a realistic prospect for increasing or accelerating the uptake of a technology,
thus helping an agency charged with knowledge and technology transfer to decide where investment in communication is likely
to pay off. In the case of MDC observation times, even a 20% change in attitude score among hill and upland dairy farmers
would have minimal impact on the numbers adopting; while a similar change among mixed farms would lead to a greater
increase. Targeting mixed farms with this particular technology would make more sense than promoting it among upland
farmers. The overall findings reinforce the importance of understanding and addressing the prevailing beliefs and values within
the objective population

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Author(s): Cook, Dorward, Huggins, McKemey +Garforth, Park, Rehman, T, Tranter, Yates

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Organizations(s): ational Centre for Environmental Data and Surveillance, Bath, School of Agriculture, The University of Reading