Motivational drivers of action in response to an environmental biosecurity incursion

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Date: Feb. 15, 2019
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 398 words

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Keywords Adoption; Farmers; Social science; Threat perception; Self-efficacy Highlights * Farmer-level biosecurity action remains complex but has significant implications. * Survey measured income, threat, self-efficacy, cost and reward as drivers of action. * Income dependency was the strongest individual predictor of biosecurity action. * Self-efficacy, intrinsic reward, extrinsic reward were notable secondary predictors. * Perceived threat of TR4 and response cost were not predictors of biosecurity action. Abstract Background Environmental changes caused by plant pathogen incursions can have significant economic and social impacts on agricultural communities. Proactive and vigilant biosecurity actions on-ground are essential in preventing outbreaks from occurring and/or spreading. However, little is known about psychological drivers for action. Experimental This study examined social and psychological drivers for proactive biosecurity action amongst banana farm owners (N = 57) in a region of northern Australia. This region was experiencing a biosecurity emergency after the incursion of a non-eradicable plant disease, Panama Tropical Race 4 (TR4). A telephone survey measured the influence of threat perceptions, response costs, biosecurity knowledge, self-efficacy, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, and income dependency from bananas, as potential drivers for increased biosecurity activity on-farm. Results A regression model accounted for 47% of variance in proactive biosecurity action, with income dependency as the strongest individual predictor of action. Self-efficacy, intrinsic reward, and extrinsic reward were also significant individual predictors of motivation to act. Interestingly, perceived threat of TR4 and response costs were not predictors of biosecurity action. Implications These results suggest that perceptions of threat and personal costs of action are less important in motivating proactive engagement and adoption of biosecurity behaviours in the early stages of a biosecurity incursion. These first few months are, instead, characterised by values placed on social approval and peer comparisons as motivating factors for farmers to engage in on-farm biosecurity. An understanding of drivers for proactive action during an incursion has global implications for tailoring communications and on-ground support delivery during a disaster event. This information is also useful for government and industries seeking to improve biosecurity engagement, environmental management and policy delivery. Author Affiliation: (a) CSIRO L&W, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane QLD 4001, Australia (b) CSIRO L&W, ATSIP Bldg 145, James Cook University, James Cook Dr., Townsville QLD 4811, Australia * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 29 June 2018; Revised 2 November 2018; Accepted 23 November 2018 Byline: Aditi Mankad [aditi.mankad@csiro.au] (a,*), Airong Zhang [airong.zhang@csiro.au] (a), Matt Curnock [matt.curnock@csiro.au] (b)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A573828907