Behavioural drivers and barriers for adopting microbial applications in arable farms: Evidence from the Netherlands and Germany

Annika Francesca Tensi*, Frederic Ang, H.J. van der Fels-Klerx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microbial applications contribute to more sustainable agriculture by stimulating plant growth, increasing resistance to pests and diseases and relieving stresses from climate change. To stimulate the adoption of microbial applications, it is important to understand the underlying reasons for farmers' adoption decision. In this article, we investigate the behavioural drivers and barriers associated with the likelihood to adopt microbial applications. We employ the Behaviour Change Wheel and its capability, opportunity, motivation-behaviour (COM-B) model. Data were collected via an online survey among 196 Dutch and German arable farmers. We find that trust in microbial applications is an important driver and that lack of knowledge and professional support are barriers for the adoption of microbial applications. On this basis, we recommend three interventions: i) norm creation and enablement, ii) education and learning, and iii) trust building by providing incentives. The acceptance and success of a behavioural intervention depends on the choice of the interventionist. For instance, the role of governmental institutions in enforcing the adoption of microbial applications is perceived as problematic by farmers. Instead, farmers expect advisers and farmer organisations to become active in knowledge transmission and field studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121825
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Behaviour change wheel
  • Microbial applications
  • Technology uptake

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