EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Identifying Potential for Decision Support Tools through Farm Systems Typology Analysis Coupled with Participatory Research: A Case for Smallholder Farmers in Myanmar

So Pyay Thar (), Thiagarajah Ramilan (), Robert J. Farquharson () and Deli Chen ()
Additional contact information
So Pyay Thar: School of Agriculture and Food, Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Thiagarajah Ramilan: School of Agriculture and Food, Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Robert J. Farquharson: School of Agriculture and Food, Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
Deli Chen: School of Agriculture and Food, Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia

Agriculture, 2021, vol. 11, issue 6, 1-20

Abstract: Decision Support Tools (DSTs) in agriculture have been widely developed but have not been well accepted by smallholder farmers. One reason for the limited use is that the tools do not account for the complexity of heterogeneous smallholder farming systems. Identifying farm typologies has facilitated technology transfer to target groups of farmers. Accounting for heterogeneity in farm systems can help in designing and deploying DSTs to address farmer needs. Typology analysis was applied to a 600-household survey dataset to identify different farm system types. Qualitative participatory research was used to assess the potential deployment of DSTs for fertilizer management. Six types of farm systems were identified with distinct characteristics in the study area of central Myanmar. Participatory research through focus group discussions with 34 participants from the six different farm types validated the farm typologies and found that farmers from one type considered that DSTs could be useful in gaining more information and knowledge. An important finding was that DSTs providing prescriptive advice were inconsistent with what many farmers want. Farmers indicated that discussion groups are a preferred learning-based approach rather than a prescriptive tool. Farmers preferred video clips and infographics integrated into existing familiar digital platforms. This study identifies heterogeneity within a large farm sample and develops a deeper understanding of fertilizer decisions as well as knowledge and intentions related to the use of DSTs or apps via follow-up focus group discussions. Incorporating a participatory research framework with typology identification can have a beneficial role in direct interactions with smallholders that may increase their acceptability of DSTs. This study has generated valuable information about farmer types and serves as a starting point for developing a framework for discussion support systems that may better relate to the needs of farmers.

Keywords: decision support tools; typology; participatory research; focus group discussion; smallholder; Myanmar (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q1 Q10 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q16 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/11/6/516/pdf (application/pdf)
https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/11/6/516/ (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gam:jagris:v:11:y:2021:i:6:p:516-:d:567669

Access Statistics for this article

Agriculture is currently edited by Mr. Justin Li

More articles in Agriculture from MDPI
Bibliographic data for series maintained by MDPI Indexing Manager ().

 
Page updated 2022-02-12
Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:11:y:2021:i:6:p:516-:d:567669