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Invited review : Determinants of farmers' adoption of management-based strategies for infectious disease prevention and control

By Caroline Ritter, Jolanda Jansen, Steven Roche, David F Kelton, Cindy L Adams, Karin Orsel, Ron J Erskine, Geart Benedictus, Theo J G M Lam and Herman W Barkema


The prevention and control of endemic pathogens within and between farms often depends on the adoption of best management practices. However, farmers regularly do not adopt recommended measures or do not enroll in voluntary disease control programs. This indicates that a more comprehensive understanding of the influences and extension tools that affect farmers' management decisions is necessary. Based on a review of relevant published literature, we developed recommendations to support policy-makers, industry representatives, researchers, veterinarians, and other stakeholders when motivating farmers to adopt best management practices, and to facilitate the development and implementation of voluntary prevention and control programs for livestock diseases. Farmers will make management decisions based on their unique circumstances, agricultural contexts, beliefs, and goals. Providing them with rational but universal arguments might not always be sufficient to motivate on-farm change. Implementation of recommended management practices is more likely if farmers acknowledge the existence of a problem and their responsibility to take action. The perceived feasibility and effectiveness of the recommended management strategy and sufficient technical knowledge further increase the likelihood of adequate adoption. Farmers will also weigh the expected advantages of a proposed change against the expected disadvantages, and these considerations often include internal drivers such as pride or the desire to conform with perceived standards. Extension tools and farmers' social referents (e.g., veterinarians, peers) not only provide technical information but also influence these standards. Whereas mass media have the potential to deliver information to a broad audience, more personal approaches such as participatory group learning or individual communication with farm advisors can enable the tailoring of recommendations to farmers' situations. Approaches that appeal to farmers' internal motivators or that unconsciously elicit the desired behavior will increase the success of the intervention. Collaboration among stakeholders, assisted by social scientists and communication specialists, is necessary to provide a context that facilitates on-farm change and transfers consistent messages across extension tools in the most effective way

Topics: prevention and control program, farmer compliance, motivation, communication, behavior change
Year: 2017
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Provided by: NARCIS
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