Moving towards nature-inclusive agriculture

Nature-inclusive agriculture can contribute to reaching a number of policy goals, including the reduction of emissions of ammonium and greenhouse gasses, improvement of water quality and restoration of biodiversity.
In decisions of farmers whether or not to move towards nature-inclusive agriculture, not only economic and technological considerations have a role, but also social and cultural factors.

By focusing on social and cultural aspects, this study contributes to policy development for supporting the transition towards nature-inclusive agriculture. With action research, public officials are supported in policy development, possibly in interaction with stakeholders.

Special attention is given to the role of chain parties and others that frequently visit farms on a professional basis, and their influence on choices of farmers regarding nature-inclusive agriculture. Likewise, attention is given to local networks of family and community.  

To be able to effectively support a transition towards nature-inclusive agriculture, insight is needed in what drives farmers. This study focuses on intrinsic motivation (how does a farmer want to be a good farmer?) and on extrinsic motivation (what forms of agriculture are appreciated by the social environment of the farmer, and how?).

By analysing documents and other forms of communication and by means of interviews and focus groups, the social environment of the farmer is studied. By means of action research, a contribution is made to policy development. Together with policy officials, existing knowledge about behaviour of farmers is applied in existing policy development trajectories.