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Using the reasoned action approach to understand Brazilian successors’ intention to take over the farm

Morais, Manoela, Borges, João Augusto Rossi, Binotto, Erlaine
Land use policy 2018 v.71 pp. 445-452
agricultural industry, correlation, farm ownership, farm size, farmers, farms, food security, land use, psychosocial factors, rural areas, surveys, sustainable agriculture, Brazil
Family farming is the predominant form of farm ownership in many countries and it plays an important role in global food security. In family farming, farm transfer usually occurs intergenerational and, therefore, the survival of family farming depends on the availability of a successor within the family. However, an ageing farmer population and out-migration of rural areas characterizes the agricultural sector in many countries, including Brazil. Together, the out-migration and the ageing of farmers are considered as barriers to a more sustainable agriculture and land use. This study used the reasoned action approach (RAA) as a framework to identify the impact of psychological factors, socioeconomic and farm characteristics on Brazilian successors’ intention to take over the farm. The RAA hypothesizes that intention is determined by three psychological constructs: attitude, perceived norms, and perceived behavioral control. A survey with 227 potential successors was conducted. Potential successors were recruited via snowball sampling, as this population is hard to reach. Results show that the intention of potential successors in taking over the farm was manly determined by their positive evaluations of taking over the farm (attitude), followed by their positive perceptions about their own capability in taking over the farm (perceived behavioral control), and their perceptions about the social pressure to take over the farm (perceived norms). Moreover, farm size is positively correlated with potential successors’ intention to take over the farm, indicating that the larger the farm is, the higher the intention of potential successors to take it over.