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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Promoting agroforestry in rwanda: policy interventions derived from the theory of planned behaviour

Beatrice Noeldeke

Leibniz University Hannover, Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Germany


Although agroforestry offers multiple benefits, its adoption by small-scale farmers remains low in some regions in developing countries. Additional to economic motives also socio-cognitive motivations can influence farmers’ decision-making. This study identifies socio-cognitive motivational factors influencing farmers’ intentions to adopt agroforestry systems with diverse tree species based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Furthermore, it compares policy instruments which target relevant socio-cognitive drivers to promote agroforestry adoption. To identify socio-cognitive determinants to adopt agroforestry, a partial least squares structural equation model is estimated. Based on these results, an agent-based simulation model investigates whether the following interventions increase adoption intentions 1) an information campaign to spread awareness of agroforestry benefits to enhance attitudes, 2) informing farmers about social norms to reinforce subjective norm, and 3) providing trainings to improve perceived behavioural control. The research is applied to a case study in rural Rwanda, where a household survey was conducted with 145 small-scale farmers. In line with the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the partial least squares structural equation model confirms that attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control influence farmers’ adoption intentions. The simulations demonstrate that all interventions significantly increase intentions. The information campaign targeting attitude causes the strongest increase, but the effectiveness of the interventions is generally small. The relatively weak effectiveness of the individual interventions can be enhanced by their combined implementation. Political actors who aim to raise low agroforestry adoption rates should account for socio-cognitive adoption drivers and develop strategies that target farmers’ attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control as alternatives to economic incentives.

Keywords: Adoption, agroforestry, intrinsic motivation, policy interventions, theory of planned behaviour

Contact Address: Beatrice Noeldeke, Leibniz University Hannover, Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Hannover, Germany, e-mail: noeldeke@iuw.uni-hannover.de

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