Technology adoption by rural women in Queensland, Australia: women driving technology from the homestead for the paddock

Hay, Rachel, and Pearce, Philip (2014) Technology adoption by rural women in Queensland, Australia: women driving technology from the homestead for the paddock. Journal of Rural Studies, 36. pp. 318-327.

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Abstract

The adoption of Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) technologies to optimize beef cattle production in Northern Australia promises to boost the sector's productivity and profitability. This study examines the roles of grazier women in particular in the current use of and further adoption of on farm technology. It adds to the broader literature on women in agriculture, briefly examining feminist theory and then discussing eco feminism, capital resource ownership, and rural residency. The study considered the adoption of specific rural technologies (such as remote cameras, remote weather stations, bore cameras, and other livestock management systems), but found the current use of these tools to be limited. The limited spread of new rural technologies strongly supports the aim of this study, and ultimately, raises the question of who is driving rural technology diffusion and adoption amongst cattle producers. Data collected through 60 conversational interviews and from 141 participants of an online survey established the centrality of women graziers' roles. The research found that women use most components of online technology three times more often than men. While they were sometimes reluctant to take on the digital homestead tasks, by doing so they feel empowered and valued in their work. More importantly, the study found that as technology diffuses into rural settings and is adopted by grazier women, it is modifying gender divisions, specifically away from traditional separate roles and towards productive partnerships in farming families. Those advocating the further adoption of the new PLF technologies need to be mindful of the women graziers' role as busy users and joint decision makers.

Item ID: 37472
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-1392
Keywords: rural women, technology adoption, precision agriculture, remote livestock management, decision systems, farming women
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Supplementary data related to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2014.10.002.

Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 07:32
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150314 Small Business Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology @ 100%
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