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Low-income Farmers’ Behavior Toward Land Degradation: The Effects of Perceptions, Awareness, Attitude, and Land Use

Budry Bayard, Curtis M. Jolly, Dennis A. Shannon, Alejandro A. Lazarte

Abstract


A structural equation modeling approach is used to examine the relationship between farmers’ perceptions of land degradation and their self-reported environmental behavior. Influence of crop dependency, land tenure, and demographic pressure on perceptions and behavior is also explored. Results showed that perceived susceptibility and severity of land degradation strongly influences farmers’ awareness of, and attitude toward environmental problems. Awareness of land resource depletion is likely to foster behavioral changes that will mitigate the problems. Greater financial and economic
dependence on crop production causes greater perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and more positive attitude toward land degradation. Greater dependence on crops is associated with less perceived barriers to behavioral change. Direct ownership of the land is negatively related to perceived severity, and awareness, but positively associated with barriers and behavior.

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