The influence of farmers' mental models on an agroforestry extension program in the Philippines

Baynes, John, Herbohn, John and Russell, Iean (2011) The influence of farmers' mental models on an agroforestry extension program in the Philippines. Small-Scale Forestry, 10 3: 377-387. doi:10.1007/s11842-010-9154-7

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Author Baynes, John
Herbohn, John
Russell, Iean
Title The influence of farmers' mental models on an agroforestry extension program in the Philippines
Journal name Small-Scale Forestry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-7617
Publication date 2011
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11842-010-9154-7
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 10
Issue 3
Start page 377
End page 387
Total pages 11
Editor Stephen R. Harrison
John Bliss
Heimo Karppinen
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Subject D Environment
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
0705 Forestry Sciences
Formatted abstract
The influence of farmers’ mental models on the success of an agroforestry extension program on Leyte Island in the Philippines was investigated. Knowledge of farmers’ mental models and hence the likely acceptance of technology was used to inform the design of a hypothetically expanded program. To gain an insight into the reasons behind differing acceptance of extension assistance, data were collected and analysed from formal interviews, translated conversations and visual observations. The data provided a chain of evidence and triangulation between farmers’ stated intentions and their actions. Farmers had little prior knowledge of nursery technology and were highly receptive to extension assistance which enabled them to develop high self-efficacy in seedling production. However, farmers’ rejection of silvicultural advice to thin and prune existing plantations was predicated by existing attitudes to forest resource management. Farmers also expressed a strong preference for a low-cost and low-input approach to establishing timber trees. Visual observations of farmers’ tree establishment practices indicated the existence of gaps in their knowledge of tree growth processes. This investigation illustrates the need to elicit farmers’ mental models as a parallel enquiry to extension activities. If agroforestry extension is to be constructivist and participatory, accommodation of farmers’ mental models and modification of program goals may be necessary. Relatively little is known about the reasons for farmers’ acceptance or rejection of silviculture in Leyte and these results indicate that further research into the way that farmers’ mental models filter and guide acceptance of advice may be worthwhile.
© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2010
Keyword Self-efficacy
Question-base approach
Chain of evidence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 23 December 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 15 Mar 2011, 11:13:35 EST by Dr John Herbohn on behalf of School of Integrative Systems