Understanding the intention of smallholder farmers to adopt fish production
In Brazil, smallholder farmers living in rural settlements face poverty and food insecurity. To alleviate such problems, Brazilian government has used policy instruments to stimulate farmers to adopt fish production. It is expected that the adoption of fish production provides better nutrition for households and increase farmers’ income. However, the adoption rate is beyond governmental expectations. A possible explanation for the low adoption rate is that policy instruments overlook how farmers in rural settlements decide to adopt novel production activities, such as fishing. Theory of planned behavior was used to deeper the understanding of how farmers can be motivated to adopt fish production. The objectives were: to identify the impact of socio-psychological constructs (i.e. attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and self-identity) on farmers’ intention to adopt fish production; and to identify the salient beliefs underlying farmers’ intention to adopt fish production. Results suggest that self-identity, attitude, and subjective norms impact on farmers’ intention to adopt fish production. Salient behavioral beliefs that represent possible outcomes of adopting fish production were: “having an increase on farm income”, “having an additional source of food for own consumption”, “having a better quality of life”. Salient normative beliefs that represent important others for farmers were based upon the opinion of “sons/daughters”, “spouse”, “friends”, “neighbors”, “rural cooperatives”, “farmers’ unions”, “farmers’ associations”, “governmental institutions”. Salient control beliefs that represent factors that would facilitate farmers to adopt fish production were: “having an easy way to sell fish production”, “having financial incentive from government”, “Having free technical assistance”, “Having more knowledge about fish production”, and “Having river water flowing in the rural lot”. From a policy perspective, our results highlight the importance of interventions targeted to prime an identity of fish farmers. Interventions will also benefit from strategies to develop more favorable attitude towards adoption of fish production and to increase social support.