A participatory approach for integrating risk assessment into rural decision-making: A case study in Santa Catarina, Brazil

I.L.Z. Bacic, A.K. Bregt, D.G. Rossiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Incomplete information is one of the main constraints for decision-making, which are then by definition risky. In this study, formal risk concepts were introduced in decision-makers¿ meetings according to local demands and following a participatory approach, as a first step towards integrating risk assessment into rural decision-making in Santa Catarina, Brazil. Semi-structured interviews and meetings were conducted with extensionists and farmers. The following information was presented and discussed: (1) the time series and frequency distribution of maize yield predictions, simulated by the GAPS computer program for 16 feasible planting dates, representing climatic risks, both within and between years; and (2) a simple economic analysis (gross margin) and income probabilities for seven land-use options over a recent five-year period, followed by an interactive exercise where probabilities of achieving user-supplied target gross margins were calculated according to participants¿ actual information, using the computer program @RISK. This paper also investigates decision-makers¿ attitudes towards risk, and how these were influenced by objective information. Although results from a study such as this are not definitive, considering that the effects of the information on actual decision-making require some time to become evident, it was already possible to conclude that the risk-orientated information presented according to local demands and following a participatory approach had a positive impact on decision-makers¿ understanding and perceptions. This approach should be further explored to effectively integrate risk assessment into rural decision-making
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-244
JournalAgricultural Systems
Volume87
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • land evaluation
  • information
  • management

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