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Changing rice cropping patterns to crops with less water consumption

Masoud Yazdanpanah, Tahereh Zobeidi*, Stefan Sieber, Katharina Löhr, Seyedeh Bahar Homayoon

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Replacing rice cultivation is a measure that mitigates water scarcity and climate change. This study seeks to predict rice growers' intention to alter their current rice cropping system to other, less water consumptive products using the extended theory of planned behavior (TPB). Using survey data collected from 220 randomly sampled rice growers in southwestern Iran, structural equation modeling shows that environmental concern positively affects the subjective norm (β =0.57), perceived behavioral control (β =0.16), moral norm (β =0.37), self-identity (β =0.26), and habit (β =0.39). Environmental concerns indirectly affect farmer's intention through self-identity and habit. Attitude and self-identity positively and habit negatively affects behavioral intentions. The results show that the Extended TPB has superior predictive ability over TPB in predicting grower intentions. Extended TPB predicts 35% of the farmers’ intention, while TPB predicts 30%. Given the strong indirect impact of environmental concerns on the intention to change cultivation patterns, political efforts through the media and training campaigns should be aimed at raising environmental concerns, risk perception and awareness, as well as clarifying the risks of water scarcity. Extension agents may increase farmers’ willingness to change cultivated crops by disseminating information to farmers about the measures needed to prepare the land, the costs of cultivating alternative crops, and benefits of changing cultivation patterns to improving farmers attitude.