Constructing community fuzzy cognitive maps to promote adoption of conservation agricultural production practices
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FCM was used to identify and map the factors involved in decision-making regarding the adoption of conservation agricultural practices in three villages in Central Nepal. Face-to-face interviews with farmers were conducted to develop an initial list of relevant factors, followed by extensive surveys conducted with both farmers and in-country NGO staff and researchers to develop the “mental models” used by these groups to guide decision-making. Mental models of the groups were quantitatively compared to determine differences between stakeholder groups. The results show significant differences between farmers and experts, as well as between villages. Such variation in the perception of agricultural practices can be attributed to differences in formal training, farming experience, soil conditions and culture. This research can be applied to improve understanding of cultural decision-making and values for improved transfer of sustainable agricultural technologies.
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