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Investigating farmers’ behaviour management in drought period as prevention responses: the case of Dehloran district. Journal of Spatial Analysis Environmental Hazards 2018; 4 (4) :79-92
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-2679-en.html
Abstract:   (4775 Views)

Farmers in developing countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change effects, particularly drought. Drought is a serious and dangerous phenomenon in most part of the world particularly arid and semi aired region such as Iran and it is estimated that Middle East is expected to be particularly badly affected with a decline in precipitation of at least 40mm over the coming century. In Sum, drought is a recurring climatic event that can happen in all parts of the world. In terms of people affected, it is the number one risk of all natural hazards, with more than 1 billion people affected in the last decade. In fact, drought is considered as a disaster, causing heavy costs for farmers' livelihoods and agricultural systems. Therefore, most of the drought effects are in societies where agriculture is a major component of their economic activity. As such, the livelihoods of farmers that are among vulnerable communities is strongly affected. In other words, at the global scale, agriculture is by far the most important user of water and, as pressure on water resources increases, the need for new approaches to managing those resources is becoming more pressing. However strong evidences confirmed that farmers can actively response to drought and manage and reduce it effects. As such promoting farmers to actively response to drought is very urgent and necessary. First step to this policy is understanding farmers’ current situation and their intention and behaviour. In fact, understanding farmers’ perception toward drought is a key to preparing to reduce the effects of it. In other words, drought management relies heavily on farmers understanding how to reduce their water consumption and on applying their understanding to everyday activities so that they consume sustainably. Furthermore, attitudes of farmers toward drought and drought management are closely linked with their behavioral management and experience with past events (Yazdanpanah et al., 2013). Hence, attitude and past experience can affect the assessment of coping strategies in the future, which is especially important from a preventive action point of view (see Krömker and Mosler 2002).  Therefore, a deep and proper understanding of the factors that determine adaptation with the new conditions is very much needed. As such, the aim of this study is to investigating farmers’ intention and behaviour toward drought management. Among other dimensions it is assumed that psychological issues play an important role in predicting farmers’ intentions and actual responses, however, little research has focused on the psychological mechanisms that facilitate or constrain drought adaptation behavior. In this context, a study was carried out to identify the most prominent drivers of, and impediments to, drought adaptation, using health belief model. The Health Belief Model is an expectancy value model. According to this theory, an individual’s behavior is a utility of the probability of consequences accompanying with that behavior and the probable value or evaluation of those consequences. The overall desirability of the behavior is based on the summed products of the expectancy and value of consequences. Theory claims that health decisions are based on two major components. These are perception of threats and behavioral evaluation, which, in turn, is divided into four psychosocial sub-components (beliefs) the “threat perception” refers to a supposed vulnerability to a disease and estimated costs of this disease, while “behavioral evaluation” refers to benefits and barriers for adopting own behavior. Also based on these four beliefs, the HBM comprises other additional cognitive or motivational components to change or predict behavior, such as “cue to action” and “health motivation” or “general concern”. These components refer to the cause of health behavior, which, in turn, impacts the level of worry about health problems. Furthermore, Becker and Rosenstock (1987) added “perceived self-efficacy” as a perceived behavior control component to the HBM. While perceived self-efficacy originates from the social cognitive theory and refers to the degree, to which following a particular pattern of behavior is imaginable or unmanageable for the person and can enhance the predicted power of the model. The Health Belief Model was quantitatively tested using the survey methodology to understand farmers’ intention and behaviour. An in-depth literature review was used to develop the questionnaire to collect data for this study. Data were collected through personal interviews based on a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was structured to assess the central components of the Health Belief Model. The questionnaire was used for a face-to-face survey with farmers. Answering time for the questionnaire was about 15-20 min. Researchers received all completed questionnaires directly after the survey; no intermediaries were involved into the analysis or interpretation of results. The questions were scored on a 1-5 point scale (very low, low, moderate, high, very high) to reduce the statistical problem of extreme skewness. Based on Ajzen's (1985) recommendations, scales containing multiple items were developed to measure each of the psycho-social variables. It is important to note that for assessed Health Belief Model variables we used items that closely follow the measurement of this constructs used in past studies. The statistical population of this study was the farmers of Dehloran city, located in the villages of Anaran, Seyyed Ebrahim, Seyyed Naseroddin, Abu Ghavir, Dasht-e-Abbas, Nahr Anbar. In order to determine the volume of the sample, the Kargets and Morgan tables (1970) were used. According to the size of the population (farmers in Dehloran city), the sample size was 320. In this study, a randomized cluster sampling method with proportional allocation was used. The reliability of the main scales of the questionnaires’ was examined by Cronbach Alpha coefficients, which ranged from 0.65 to 0.84, indicating the tool of study is reliable. A multiple step-wise regression analysis, with intention regarding response to drought as the variable, and with Health Belief Model variables as the framework, the results revealed that general beliefs, self-efficacy and perceived benefits are significant predictors. These three variables predicted 54% of the variance in intention regarding response to drought. Same regression was carried out so to determine factors that can predict farmers’ behaviour regarding drought management. The results revealed that intention, perceived severity, perceived vulnerability and perceived benefits are significant predictors of behaviour. These variables predicted 21% of the variance farmers’ behaviour toward drought management.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2017/06/4 | Accepted: 2018/02/26 | Published: 2018/03/17

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