PhD Student on the farmers willingness to prevent and control animal diseases

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PhD Student on the farmers willingness to prevent and control animal diseases

Job description
Effective animal health management is important in modern livestock sectors for different reasons. First, (endemic) animal diseases influence productivity of livestock and therefore farm income. Second, epidemic diseases threaten not only livestock on single farms but threaten whole livestock sectors at national level and at international level. Third, zoonotic diseases are a threat to the human population who can be infected by animal products, by direct contact but also by other contact routes.

 

Animal health management can be supported by animal health economics. Many decision support tools have proven to be effective, affordable and acceptable. However, even when farmers had indicated an intention to use them, these tools are not always used extensively in the field. Most of the tools assume rational economic behaviour, even though it is known that people do not always choose rationally. Choices and behaviour are strongly influenced by other factors. One reason for the non-adoption and non-implementation of management practices is that it requires a behavioural change from the individual farmers, which is hard to induce and sustain.

To design effective animal health programmes at farm, sector or national level it is important to understand how farmers arrive at their choices. Understanding farmer attitudes and obtaining insight into their motives is important to identify influencing factors that can be used to achieve behavioural changes. When factors that influence the decision making process are identified, animal health programs can be improved. In short, it is proposed that animal health policy can be made more effective and efficient if it is matched to knowledge about the behaviour of farmers. Since both rational and non-rational behaviour are (partly) predictable there is scope to achieve this goal.

This PhD project aims to i) identify the motives of farmers for the decisions made in animal health management, to ii) identify the factors that influence farmers' choices, iii) to assess the impact of the motives and influential factors on the intended decisions, to iv) model the decision making process with regard to animal health management, and to v) predict the farmers’ behaviour based on the gained knowledge.

 

Termenul de aplicare a fost pana la 01 Aprilie 2012

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