Sustainable horticulture in North Queensland: resistance to the adoption of innovations?

McCarthy, Breda, and Schurmann, Andrea (2015) Sustainable horticulture in North Queensland: resistance to the adoption of innovations? Journal of New Business Ideas and Trends, 13 (2). pp. 15-38.

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Purpose: There are well documented concerns around global agriculture and increasing pressure is placed on farmers to farm more sustainably. However, research into Australian farmers' resistance to innovation in this context is surprisingly scarce.The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that prevent growers from adopting more sustainable farming practices in North Queensland.

Design/methodology/approach: A total of 22 in-depth interviews were undertaken with growers from across the spectrum of sustainable farming along with key informants. A grounded theory approach was taken and the analysis involved comparing and contrasting the views held by the different respondents and coding the data into major themes that help explain resistance to organic farming methods.

Findings: This study lends support to the framework on resistance to innovations offered by MacVaugh and Schiavone (2010). It showed that resistance to innovation comes predominantly from the technology and the costs associated with the switch to chemical-free farming methods. Learning barriers were significant. Growers interested in organic farming were confronted with lack of information, lack of institutional support and the fear of losing competitive advantage if information was shared. The presence of powerful players in the supply chain also explained resistance to the adoption of innovation.

Item ID: 39441
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1447-9184
Keywords: resistance to innovation, organic farming, sustainable horticulture, semi-structured interviews
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Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2015 02:05
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