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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Delivering too much, too little or off target-possible consequences of differences in perceptions on agricultural advisory services

Krafft, Jannica; Hockert, Jenny; Ljung, Magnus; Lundberg, Sara; Kolstrup, Christina Lunner

Abstract

Advisory services are considered to play an important role in the development of competitiveness and sustainability in agriculture. Advisory services have been studied at policy level, structural level and within case studies, but there is still restricted knowledge about advisors' and farmers' view on advisory services in general. This paper presents the views of Swedish advisors and farmers on advisory services. In a survey-based study, perceptions of farm advisors and full-time farmers in commercial Swedish agriculture on advisory services were identified and statistically analysed, comparing differences between and within the groups. The results are structured around three main themes; motives for a farmer using or not using advisory services, preferred approach by the advisor and future demands on advisory services and their importance today. Possible consequences of differences in perceptions for on-farm service delivery were assessed. Similarities in perceptions on advisory services among advisors and farmers, were found in areas characterised by well-defined questions or production-related issues. Significant differences in perceptions of advisors and farmers emerged in less concrete areas and on topics connected to change, management and strategy. Consequences of discrepancies in perceptions are that advisors may deliver too much, too little or off target, especially when expectations on advisory services are not clearly expressed. A strong and proactive back-office supporting the advisors is needed to prevent these possible consequences.

Keywords

Advisors; Farmers; Perceptions; Motives; Learning; Questionnaires

Published in

Agriculture and Human Values
2021, Volume: 39, number: 1, pages: 185-199 Publisher: SPRINGER