Values of Farmers, Sustainability and Agricultural Policy
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Volume 12, Number 1, 2000 , pp. 17-27(11)
Abstract:This article describes the feasibility of research into the relation between values of farmers and sustainability for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and the Dutch Federation of Agricultural and Horticultural Organisations.
Firstly, a theoretical framework describes different levels of motivation behind conduct and choices. It enables exploration and analysis of individual interviews with small groups of conventional and ecological farmers. The aim is to find out what their basic convictions regarding nature and sustainability are, and to analyze the relation between these convictions and the actual choices they make in their farming practice. The research shows that for some farmers, differences in farming practice go back to the motivation level of moral convictions about what is `good farming'. For others, the motivations for a specific farming practice are more pragmatic or `superficial'. This knowledge can be of significance for the process of policy making.
Secondly, this research demonstrates that investigation into the relation between values and behavioral choices is possible. The analysis of interviews among a small group of farmers gives an idea of the importance of personal values in addition to (and sometimes of more importance than) economic considerations. Due to the restricted size of the research population, however, these conclusions are of limited generalizability. Finally, in order to make a larger research agenda possible, the research methodology is evaluated on the basis of scientific criteria.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Institute for Cultural Ethics, Puntenburgerlaan 85, 3812 CC Amersfoort, The Netherlands E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Centre for Entrepreneurship, Nyenrode University, Straatweg 25, 3621 BG Breukelen, The Netherlands
Publication date: January 1, 2000