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Explaining the non-economic behaviour of farm foresters: The effect of productivist and lifestyle motivations

By Peter Howley, Stephen Hynes and Cathal O'Donoghue


working paperCurrently rates of planting lag far behind levels that would be expected from a comparison of the returns from farm forestry with competing agricultural alternatives. Previous research has focused on the role of economic factors such as government subsidies, returns from competing agricultural alternatives and structural farm factors in explaining the decision to afforest. By examining the role of farming attitudes and motivations, the aim of this paper is to provide a framework for better understanding farmers’ behaviour in relation to the decision to enter into forestry. The results provide rare quantitative evidence that strong lifestyle and productivist motivations significantly affect farmers’ behaviour. Environmental values and perceptions regarding the extent to which forestry is seen as a component of a natural landscape were two further factors found to affect the probability of participation. We conclude that the design of policies aimed at encouraging changes in farm activities ought to be guided by a better understanding of the motivations and attitudes of farm operators

Topics: Farm forestry, Farming attitudes, Farming goals
Publisher: Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland
Year: 2012
OAI identifier:
Provided by: T-Stór

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