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Understanding Farmers’ Behavior towards Sustainable Practices and Their Perceptions of Risk

Stefanos A. Nastis (), Konstadinos Mattas () and George Baourakis ()
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Stefanos A. Nastis: Laboratory of Agricultural Economic Development, Department of Agricultural Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Konstadinos Mattas: Laboratory of Agricultural Products, Agricultural Policy and Cooperatives, Department of Agricultural Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
George Baourakis: MAICh Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, 73100 Chania, Greece

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 5, 1-13

Abstract: Farmers, as the first link in the agri-food value chain, are key in assuring its sustainability. Farmers’ behavior and attitudes towards implementing sustainable farm practices is influenced by their perceptions of risk affecting the farm and their household, either directly or indirectly. In this study, we elicit farmers’ perceived risk perception and preferences and test their robustness and validity using a sample of Greek smallholder farmers since they represent the majority of Greek holdings. Results suggest that farmers exhibit risk aversion in most situations of farm-level decision making. In many situations, farmers will prefer on-farm environmental sustainability strategies over other risk mitigation strategies. More specifically, higher age, higher education, farm size, proportion of rented land, and the existence of a farm succession plan reveal an increase in farmers’ preference for on-farm environmentally sustainable strategies and suggest reduced incentives towards implementing other on-farm or off-farm solutions.

Keywords: farm management; risk management; farm sustainability; risk perception; risk preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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