I-B02: Attitudes and decisions of agricultural households in the rural-urban interface - A survey and comparative analysis

Project summary

Changed framework conditions, caused by urban growth, influence decisions at the individual farm level. These decisions, aiming to improve overall human well-being, relate to the operative structure as well as to the question of exiting the farming business. The investment and disinvestment behaviour of farmers depends on the risk attitude, the time preference, the life satisfaction and attitude towards ecosystem services of the individual decision maker. In order to understand structural changes in India in general, and in Bangalore in particular, it is important to analyse the links between the small scale decision making behaviour of agricultural households and large scale framework conditions, such as access to financial credit, that affect this behaviour. The socio-economic background of 1200 households comprising of 600 house holds in each of two transects across the rural-urban interface of Bangalore will be characterised by a standardised questionnaire in a spatially explicit panel survey. This provides a matrix to draw subsamples for more specific analyses. This project will study differences in attitudes towards urbanisation, in the valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as differences in the investment and disinvestment decision-making behaviour of agricultural households. It will thereby combine attitudinal and behavioural data. Taking into account the spatial dimension will allow considering objective agricultural conditions (such as soil quality) and a spatially explicit modelling, and the time dimension, by collecting data on the same questions at three points in time. Choice experiments and a behavioural experiment on investment decisions will be implemented in a subsample of 200 of the investigated households. The project is expected to generate important insights into the outcomes of transition processes in India including agricultural households’ attitudes, life satisfaction and agriculture-related decision making. This has implications for the overall social-ecological systems because it affects biodiversity, economic development and social well-being.