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Risk Perceptions, Attitudes, and Influential Factors of Rainfed Lowland Rice Farmers in Ilocos Norte, Philippines

This study analyzes the risk perceptions and risk attitudes of farmers practicing different rice-based cropping patterns in the rainfed lowland ecosystems of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The Likert scale and Kruskal-Wallis test were employed to assess the farmers’ risk perceptions while the experimental method was applied to determine the farmers’ risk attitudes (i.e., risk averse, risk neutral, or risk taker). Regression analysis highlights the significant factors affecting perceptions and attitudes.
Resource-endowed and resource-poor farmers generally perceived various risk sources as moderately low regardless of crops planted. However, on the average, resource-poor farmers were more likely to consider farming as not risky possibly because they had little to lose or gain compared to their resource-endowed counterparts. By source of risk, both farmer groups perceived that farming is relatively risky considering the increasing price of fertilizer and environmental factors (e.g., weather), which are beyond their control. By crop, the farmers considered rice and corn as relatively risky compared to other crops. The major crops are rice during the wet season and corn in the dry season.

High fertilizer costs and erratic climatic conditions usually burden the farmers during the wet season. Similarly, corn output is badly affected by adverse weather circumstances. Farm size and wealth are the variables that affect the farmers’ risk perceptions. The farmers in Ilocos Norte were found to be generally risk averse. Wealth, age, and availability of credit are important determinants of the farmers’ risk attitudes, but their impacts vary across cropping patterns.

Vol. 8 No. 2, December 2011

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