Behavioural determinants of the adoption of Financial Price Risk Management Tools by wheat farmers in England

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Cole, J. M. G.

Wheat farmers in England have little experience of Financial Price Risk Management (FPRM) strategies to stabilize income. On-farm advice and research is limited and adoption rates remain slow. Selling crops at prevailing market prices exposes farmers to volatile price movements that have increased in recent years. This research examines the behavioural intentions towards adoption of FPRM using a mixed method approach combining\ud interviews, focus groups and a survey of 2273 farmers in England. Interviews and focus groups informed the national questionnaire which was based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). Of the 802 responses there were 673 usable, giving a response rate of 29.6%. Constructs in the TPB model of attitude, social norm and perceived behavioural control were decomposed into sub-constructs and farmer specific data was collected. The results showed that whilst farmers were aware and concerned about volatility few had used FPRM tools. All three major constructs of TPB were significant as were the decomposed\ud sub-constructs except risk and academic advice. Some Internal Farm Factors were also significant predictors of intention to adopt; age, education, size of arable area and whether the respondent had children. To provide further inference factor and cluster analyses were\ud conducted and provided four categories of farmers (Strategic strategists, Passive strategists, Weakly insular, Strongly insular) each with distinctive characteristics and behavioural intent. This study has contributed to the literature by confirming the significance of the three major constructs of TPB as well as the sub-constructs. Post-hoc analysis contributes as it shows how such data can be further used in explaining behaviour. The study has contributed to agriculture in general by confirming farmers’ perceptions of volatility and negative attitudes towards the grain trade, in particular merchants. It also provides evidence to\ud effectively target resources to increase adoption rates.
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