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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Cultivating choices: How social context shapes farmers' considerations in crop and soil health promoter selection

Foolen-Torgerson, Kirstin; Lagerkvist, Carl Johan; Sok, Jaap; Dicke, Marcel; Oude Lansink, Alfons


In this study, we explore how farmers decide to adopt sustainable innovations in crop and soil health management with a particular focus on the use of insect by-products, or "frass'. By employing a Means-End Chain approach, we investigate how social contexts, specifically group discussions, can shape this decision-making process. Our findings reveal that social contexts have a distinct influence on farmers' decision-making. Those engaging in group discussions considered a broader set of product attributes, incgluding price, ease of use, and environmental impact. In contrast, farmers not involved in such discussions focused predominantly on product specifics like nutrient content and organic matter. This marked distinction amplifies the importance of social interaction in expanding awareness and understanding, presenting a contrast to decisions guided solely by personal judgement and technical expertise. It highlights the nuanced and complex factors affecting adoption decisions and underscores how social dynamics can subtly guide farmers" attribute considerations, providing a deeper insight into the path towards more sustainable agricultural practices.


Means-end chain; hierarchical value map; decision-making process; innovation adoption; group discussions; insect frass

Published in

NJAS impact in agricultural and life sciences
2023, Volume: 95, number: 1, article number: 2256694

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    Sustainable Development Goals

    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)