‘How Can You Walk Away from Yourself?’ – Farmers Talk About Their Decision Influences
20 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2011
Date Written: January 10, 2011
The crippling drought experienced in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) from 2000 has led to widespread and significant environmental changes and serious economic and social impacts on businesses and communities. Federal and state governments have implemented radical policy reforms aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of current water uses. To maximize positive environmental outcomes, and minimizing negative economic and social impacts, it is important to improve understanding of the non-profit-maximising influences on farmers’ decision-making when they respond to such policies. Qualitative mail-out survey responses from 291 irrigators were categorised into recurring themes, then used to develop an influence diagram illustrating the complexity of influences on farmers’ decision-making. Farmers’ decision-making is increasingly understood to be influenced by factors other than profit-maximisation. We found this still to hold even when farmers are experiencing severe financial stress and might have been expected to have a much stronger focus on profit-maximisation.
Keywords: Decision-Making, Drought, Irrigation, Farmers
JEL Classification: ZOO
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation