Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Improving the targeting of knowledge and technology transfer in the livestock sector by understanding farmer attitudes - LK0647

Description
The purpose of this project is to improve the understanding of farmer attitudes and behaviour to facilitate an improvement in the uptake of new technology within the livestock sector.
During the past fifty years the livestock industry has undergone many considerable technological improvements. Such technologies have included for example better genetic selection techniques, artifical insemination, automatic milking parlours and better diet management. More recently technologies that promote the enhancement of the environment have become increasingly important to all the stake holders in agriculture. However in general the historical evidence suggests that many farmers are reluctant to adopt new technologies. Given the current competitiveness of agriculture, not only at the national level but also within the context of the European and world markets, any technological advancement that promotes a healthier economic environment for the farmer can make a large impact on the viability of the farm. It is therefore important to understand those aspects of any given new technology that either promote its adoption or prevent its uptake. In identifying these parametres towards uptake it is first necassary to understand both farmers attitudes and behaviour. However, it is also important to assess the potential impacts of a new technology before targetting information at farmers, which is of benefit to those who develop these technologies and other stake holders such as policy makers.

Thus, this project firstly identifies and categorises the types of new technologies available to livestock farmers, as the type of technology (genetic, biological, mechanical or environmental) will clearly affect a farmer's willingness to adopt it. It will then identify the barriers and drivers to adoption for a wide range of different livestock farms in a representative Defra defined region through the use of surveys, focus groups and in-depth farmer interviews. Concurrently with these activities the project will develop a suite of models for assessing the consequences of adopting a new technology including an assessment of environmental consequences. These models, using the information gathered from the surveys and interviews, will also be used to formulate strategies for better targetting information to promote technology transfer.
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : Executive summary without financial information   (23k)
• Executive Summary : Improving the targeting of knowledge and technology transfer in the livestock sector by understanding farmer attitudes   (3398k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2003

Cost: £40,425
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Reading, Meat and Livestock Commission, Milk Development Council
Keywords
Animal Production              
Farming              
Livestock Farming              
Sustainable Production