Contrasting the attitudes of farmers and the general public regarding the 'multifunctional' role of the agricultural sector

Howley, Peter, Yadav, Lava, Hynes, Stephen, Donoghue, Cathal O. and Neill, Stephen O. (2014) Contrasting the attitudes of farmers and the general public regarding the 'multifunctional' role of the agricultural sector. Land Use Policy, 38 248-256. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.11.020

Author Howley, Peter
Yadav, Lava
Hynes, Stephen
Donoghue, Cathal O.
Neill, Stephen O.
Title Contrasting the attitudes of farmers and the general public regarding the 'multifunctional' role of the agricultural sector
Journal name Land Use Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0264-8377
Publication date 2014-05
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.11.020
Open Access Status
Volume 38
Start page 248
End page 256
Total pages 9
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Using separate nationally representative surveys, this study compared the views and perspectives of farmers towards agricultural related conservation issues with that of the general public. Results suggest that both the general public and farmers expressed similar levels of concern regarding the environment as a whole. This is an encouraging sign when it comes to environmental protection, as it indicates a certain level of agreement between farmers as the group whose activities largely shape the quality of the rural environment, with the views of the general public who are the major consumers of landscape related environmental public goods. The analysis did, however, reveal important differences in attitudes in relation to certain environmental issues such as the relative importance of maintaining wildlife and habitats and having wild flora and fauna in the countryside. These activities could be seen as in conflict with farmers' productivist attitudes. We found no significant difference in environmental attitudes between farmers who have participated in voluntary agri-environmental schemes and those who did not. Results also suggest that there is significant heterogeneity in public attitudes towards environmental issues. Specifically, age, income, place of residence and presence of children were all significantly associated with environmental preferences. The study concludes that consideration needs to be given to the different views and perspectives of farmers and the general public in formulating policy aimed at providing an optimal mix of agricultural related environmental public goods and services.
Keyword Agri-environmental schemes
Environmental preferences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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