Segmenting Paddy Farmer Behavior, Attitude toward Green Technology New Fertilizer: Malaysia Fertilizer Industry

Aug 10, 2017 | 0 comments

Aug 10, 2017 | Miscellaneous | 0 comments

Segmenting Paddy Farmer Behavior, Attitude toward Green Technology New Fertilizer: Malaysia Fertilizer Industry

 

Introduction

Evidence have shown that one of the causes of poverty in countries that are developing is due to poor technology that hinder maximum yield on their farms (Khan & International Monetary Fund, 2001). Failure to adopt green technology or unavailability of the green technology is a significant factor that restrict economic development for these countries. This is particularly true of the developing countries’ agricultural sector where the word “poverty” remain associated with the agricultural community in these developing countries. In Malaysian economy, agriculture plays a significant role. Innovation in agriculture is considered a necessary and an important component in the agricultural activities development. This conceptual paper discusses Segmenting paddy farmer behavior, attitude toward green technology new fertilizer in the Malaysian fertilizer industry. The main purpose of this paper is to find out the characteristics of the farming community and how it poses a problem to the green technology. Furthermore, the paper will address the community as a collectivist society where approval of others are important and deviation from the norms are challenged.

Paddy rice in Malaysia is the staple food for the nation and is also a crucial agricultural crop apart from rubber and oil palm that is grown in both East Malaysia and Peninsula. According to Mehmet (2013), in 2011, Malaysia produced rice amounting to 2.4 million metric tons. However, this only fulfills about 80% of the country’s needs. If the comparison is done between paddy and other agricultural commodities, there is still much to be done to make paddy as the Malaysian main agricultural major sector. This calls for the need of cultivation of paddy with new methods and ideas such as the green technology fertilizer

The increasing population in Malaysia calls for more technology and research advancements to increase paddy production. It is a fact that paddy cultivation in Malaysia generally involve traditional farming on most parts of the rural areas and the farmers are aged and has no high education level. These characteristics of the farmers have also been compounded by the challenge of adopting green technology to improve productivity of paddy. Therefore, poverty among the farming community is inevitably common a problem.

Rogers (2003) defined innovation as a practice or an idea that is very new to a person. Sunding & Zilberman (2001) indicated that agricultural innovation is very important and is necessary for agricultural activities development. Innovation in agriculture can be new types of pesticides, varieties of seeds or fertilizer used in cultivation which result in high yields of crops

Shaffril et al (2010) asserted that the main challenges in the sector of agriculture is the new technologies inefficiencies to farmers. Colin (2012) pointed out that Malaysia produces only 72% of the rice while this yield is lower compared to those produced elsewhere under comparable conditions. The objective of this paper is to provide insights on the issues that are not resolved fully in the diffusion of innovation of the improved technologies of green technology fertilizers to increase the paddy rice yields among Malaysian farmers. The issues that the paper will be addressing that Malaysian paddy farmers’ face is the collectivist society. Collectivist characteristics bring stubbornness since the technology or innovation need to get approval from others. The values they upload will be discussed, and the reason deviation from them are questionable. Green technology is all about sustaining the environment. There are underlying reasons for the collectivist society that emphasize on the offsprings and the benefits to them. The perspective that will emphasize is a sustainable environment for the next generation.

Behaviour and attitude Segmentation

Segmentation categorize people into categories based on the characteristics they share (Sanyal and McLaughlin 1993). To understand full segmentation in an area, an individual should segment the people according to specific characteristics such as attitudes and behavior. Paddy farmers’ behavior and the attitude segmentation towards green technology new fertilizer in the Malaysian fertilizer industry is important in understanding the farmers.
Study objectives

The goals of this study are to determine the characteristics, behaviors, attitudes of the Malaysian paddy farmers toward green technology new fertilizer in Malaysia fertilizer industry. Specific objectives are:

  1. To connect the thinking that enable a stubborn society to bridge the gap between innocence towards green and acceptance towards green technology
  2. To assesstheimportance of thenext generational valueandimpact to sustaintheenvironment
  3. To examinethe Social norms that enabletheacceptanceandpractice

Collectivist society among Malaysian paddy farmers

Collectivism is a political, philosophic, economic, religious or social outlook that emphasize human being interdependence. In collectivist society, group goals are prioritized than individual goals (Triandis, 1995). They focus on society, community or nation such as the Malaysian paddy farmers. Kalshoven (1984) pointed out that among Malaysian paddy farmers, collectivism is dominant over individualism and this culture has been created by rice farming. For instance, rice paddies require stagnant water and, therefore, the farmers cooperate to build irrigation systems. Paddy farming also require an amount of work and massive labor. Therefore, the farmers cooperate to offer labor exchanges in Malaysia. Economically, paddy rice is more valuable in cooperation. Societal collectivism issue among Malaysian paddy farmers poses a problem to Green technology new fertilizer adoption. Approval of others is important before the farmers can adopt the new fertilizer and any deviation from the norms are challenged. Green technology is about sustaining the environment, but getting the approval of the whole community of farmers on board is an uphill task. People are accustomed to their normal methods of farming where they work as a group and hence stubborn to new methods that may alter their normal methods of farming.

Shukor, Gibbons & Todd (1984) pointed out that in Malaysia, to efficiently deploy labor especially during the time of planting, harvesting, Malaysian paddy farmers developed cooperate exchange of labor which let their neighbors and other community members to stagger their schedules of farms so as to assist each other during these critical periods. This collective outlook has dominated the culture and behavior of the society and so deep rooted.

However, despite the collectivism in Malaysia amongst the paddy farmers, FAO (n.d) noted that smallholder farmers are usually willing and ready to use fertilizers if they can accessed or are available, and most importantly if their use is profitable and they are affordable. In Malaysia, access to fertilizers is not a problem since there are many dealers. Moreover, the market is very competitive and open but the pricing has been rising just like the international prices. Additionally, the government has been assisting the small farmers by giving fertilizer subsidies to small farmers to improve their income and eventually alleviate rural poverty.

The importance of the next generational value and impact to sustain the environment

According to Carline and Saupe (1993), a given region’s economic activity continues to spatially re-organize to accommodate demand changes. Changing demographics such as fewer households in agriculture, declining population, and new sources of competitions such as internet have led to shifting in rural demand

The younger generation is not like the older generation since they can ready accept technological changes. Technological innovation and diffusion play a significant role in economic growth. However, the process of adoption and diffusion of the technological innovations is complex and is not understood perfectly (Foster & Rosenzweig, 2010). Learning is central to the whole of the process where the potential adopters of a new technology begin with no information at all about the technology. However, they gradually gain more information from the advices they garner from others or through their own researchers. The next generation has the ability of accepting a new technology which impact and sustain the environment like the green fertilizers among Malaysian paddy farmers.

Conclusion

In conclusion.  Malaysian paddy farmers need to adopt technology to sustain their environment for the future generations. Adoption of green technology new fertilizer among Malaysian paddy farmers is hampered by several factors, key among them being societal collectivism among the rural farmers. This community is unable to understand what green technology for sustainable environment is. The paper detailed the characteristics of the paddy farmers and how they pose problems to green technology. Collectivist societies among the paddy farmers is one of the key issues identified and discussed in the paper. The community needs the approval of others before adoption of green technology and any deviation from the norms of the society are challenged

References

Carlin, T. A., & University of Wisconsin–Madison. (1993). Structural change in farming and its relationship to rural communities. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin, Dept. of Agricultural Economics.

Colin, B. (2012). Agriculture in Malaysia’s economic and social transformation. Economic reforms, Malaysia.

FAO. (n.d). Chapter 5. Profitability of fertilizer use. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2015, from http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5797e/y5797e08.htm

Foster, A. D., Rosenzweig, M. R., & Yale University. (2010). Microeconomics of technology adoption. New Haven, Conn: Economic Growth Center, Yale University.

Shaffril, H. A. M., Uli, J., D’Silva, J. L., Nasir, A. F. A., & Idris, K. (September 04, 2010). Agriculture project as an economic development tool to boost socio-economic level of the poor community: The case of Agropolitan project in Malaysia. African Journal of Business Management, 4, 11, 2354-2361.

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Khan, M. H., & International Monetary Fund. (2001). Rural poverty in developing countries: Implications for public policy.

Mehmet, O. (2013). Development in Malaysia (Routledge Revivals): Poverty, Wealth and Trusteeship. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

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Shukor, K., Gibbons, D. S., & Todd, H. (1984). Poor Malays speak out: Paddy farmers in Muda. Kuala Lumpur: Maricans.

Sunding, D. and Zilberman, D. (2001). The agricultural Innovation process: Research and technology adoption in a changing agricultural sector. Handbook of agricultural economies, vol.1, pp. 207-261.

Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism & collectivism. Boulder: Westview Press.