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Farm decision making using climate information: Characterizing the decision profiles of southern Indian crop farmers

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Selvaraju, R., Balasubramanian, T.N., Huda, A.K.S. and George, D.A. (2005) Farm decision making using climate information: Characterizing the decision profiles of southern Indian crop farmers. Outlook on Agriculture, 34 (1). pp. 23-31. ISSN 0030-7270

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.5367/0000000053295097


The appropriate use of seasonal climate information in agricultural management requires systematic analysis of decision makers' (farmers') characteristics, needs and perceptions. An attempt has been made to characterize the decision-making approach and factors affecting them amongst 240 selected crop farmers in southern India (Coimbatore region). Farmers' perceptions about the importance of farm decisions in relation to seasonal climate information and their knowledge level were also analysed. About 39% of the farmers made decisions ‘alone’, indicating monopolization of decisions by one decision maker. However, other decision-making approaches, including the participation of family members (31.7%) and other farmers (14.6%), are still very common. Factor analysis indicated that those farmers with higher education and greater occupational status tended to decide themselves. More than 70% of the farmers perceived that the strategic decisions made before the start of the rainy season were more important than in-season tactical decisions. Decisions on sowing season and selection of crops and varieties are most important and will have considerable weight with associated seasonal climate information. However, the knowledge levels of farmers on those decisions were ‘poor’. The factor analysis grouped all the farmers (n = 240) into two dimensions representing ‘poor’ or ‘moderate’ levels of knowledge on decision making. Knowledge level was directly related to innovativeness (r = 0.373), which could be improved through enhancing change-agency contact and extension participation. Therefore, it is important to design ‘climate educational programmes’ based on the decision-making approaches, farmers' requirements (relevance of decisions) and their knowledge level on decision making using climate information.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Climate education, Crop farmers, Farm decision making, Knowledge level, Southern India
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Live Archive:07 Feb 2024 01:15
Last Modified:07 Feb 2024 01:15

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