Motivating the future farmers? Understanding farmer attraction and retention policy interventions in Newfoundland and Labrador's agriculture

Abdulai, Abdul-Rahim (2018) Motivating the future farmers? Understanding farmer attraction and retention policy interventions in Newfoundland and Labrador's agriculture. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The declining number, and the ageing of farmers in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) necessitate the understanding of attraction and retention of people into agriculture. This study aimed to understand the factors that influence the decision to farm, the reinforcements that keep people sustained in farming, and how those link to issues of attraction and retention of farmers in the province. The thesis draws mainly from interviews with farmers, agricultural officials, and policy document reviews. The study showed that the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are vital in the decision to farm. However, even when general interest and desire to farm do exist, triggering and sustaining factors, including connection to consumers, an active farmer community, and government interventions, may be needed to turn interests and motivations into action and to sustain them. The study also found that the agricultural policy setting is characterized by an emotionally driven discourse which manifest through satisfaction, discord, hope and optimism, lack of trust, suspicion, among others in relation to interventions. Thus, the interventions will not bring the required impacts unless structural issues that are embedded in the policy environment are tackled. Some of these issues include the lack of room for experimentation, excessive red tape in government support, stringent program requirements, undue focus on conventional farming, limited of partnership, and silo approach to farmer support. The study concludes that the policy actions have a role in creating, enabling, triggering, and sustaining interest in agriculture. But, conscious efforts from actors are needed to appreciate and incorporate human psychological elements, including motivations and emotions, into the policy setting to achieve intended outcomes. To that effect, policy recommendations including the support of an active farm active community, a diversity-conscious agricultural approach, sector/model specific interventions, human characteristics and values sensitive policies, and human resource capacity building are put forward to facilitate farmer attraction and retention efforts, and to advance policy practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13375
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 164-190).
Keywords: Newfoundland and Labrador, Agriculture, Farmer Attraction and Retention, Farmer Motivation, Food Security, Agricultural Policy
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: August 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Agriculture and state--Newfoundland and Labrador; Farms--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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