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Farmers’ Adoption of Low-Carbon Agriculture in China: An Extended Theory of the Planned Behavior Model

Jing Hou () and Bo Hou ()
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Jing Hou: College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Bo Hou: School of Philosophy and Public Administration, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 5, 1-20

Abstract: Farmers’ adoption of low-carbon agriculture is conductive to addressing climate change and achieving sustainable development of agriculture. The purpose of this study is to explore farmers’ decision-making processes regarding low-carbon production and to provide a reference for the targeted support policies of low-carbon agriculture. The data was derived from a household survey of 442 rice farmers conducted in Jiangsu Province, China in 2017. Participants were interviewed face-to-face using questionnaires, and local interviewers were used in order to maximize the reliability of the results. The theoretical basis for our analysis was an extended theory of planned behavior (TPB). We applied a structural equation model (SEM) to investigate the correlations among farmers’ decision-making processes regarding low-carbon production and observable characteristics. Furthermore, we explored the differences in adoption decisions regarding low-carbon agriculture among different groups of farmers based on production scale and region, respectively. The results indicate that attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and contract farming participation are significantly positively correlated with farmers’ intention toward low-carbon production, and that farmers’ low-carbon production intention and contract farming participation have significant positive correlations with their behavior regarding low-carbon production. A subsample analysis shows that the subjective norm for farmers with a small production scale is more strongly correlated with their adoption decisions regarding low-carbon agriculture than that it is for farmers with a large production scale. Additionally, in less developed regions, farmers’ attitude is more strongly correlated with their adoption decisions regarding low-carbon agriculture than it is for farmers in developed regions.

Keywords: sustainability; low-carbon production; farmers’ adoption decisions; contract participation; theory of planned behavior; structural equation model (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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