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Article

Investigating the Drivers of Farmers’ Engagement in a Participatory Extension Programme: The Case of Northern Ireland Business Development Groups

1
Economics Research Branch, Agri-food and Biosciences Institute, 18a Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, UK
2
School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4510; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114510
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 29 May 2020 / Published: 2 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extension (and) Education for Sustainable Farming Systems)
Participatory agricultural extension programmes aimed at encouraging knowledge transfer and the adoption of new technology and innovation at the farm level are a novel approach to advisory service provision. In order to drive sustainable agricultural production systems that address farm-level economic and environmental objectives, the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in November 2015, developed a new participatory extension programme for farmers in Northern Ireland, the Business Development Groups (BDGs). The purpose of this paper is to examine and analyse the drivers of farmers’ decisions in relation to joining and participating in this new approach to farm extension, learning and advisory service provision. Making use of data from both primary and secondary sources, this study employs a mixed-methods approach which involves an empirical analysis of quantitative and qualitative data to examine the factors influencing membership of the BDG programme. The results of our analyses show that larger, more intensive farmers who are keen to access information from other farmers to improve their business performance are most likely to participate in the BDG programme. The study contributes to the empirical literature by establishing the need to take into consideration the different characteristics of farmers in the design and delivery of participatory extension programmes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Participatory extension; mixed methods; Business Development Groups (BDG) Participatory extension; mixed methods; Business Development Groups (BDG)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jack, C.; Adenuga, A.H.; Ashfield, A.; Wallace, M. Investigating the Drivers of Farmers’ Engagement in a Participatory Extension Programme: The Case of Northern Ireland Business Development Groups. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4510. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114510

AMA Style

Jack C, Adenuga AH, Ashfield A, Wallace M. Investigating the Drivers of Farmers’ Engagement in a Participatory Extension Programme: The Case of Northern Ireland Business Development Groups. Sustainability. 2020; 12(11):4510. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114510

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jack, Claire, Adewale H. Adenuga, Austen Ashfield, and Michael Wallace. 2020. "Investigating the Drivers of Farmers’ Engagement in a Participatory Extension Programme: The Case of Northern Ireland Business Development Groups" Sustainability 12, no. 11: 4510. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114510

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