Rhiannon Fisher, recently submitted CCRI PhD student, presents her research on the role of social capital with regards to farmer resilience and response to critical events, looking in particular at bovine TB.
Transcript of "The role of social capital in influencing the response capacity of farmers"
The role of social capital in influencing the response capacity of farmers Rhiannon FisherCountryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire and the Royal Agricultural College 1
Bovine Tuberculosis• An infectious disease in cattle• Spread between cattle and badgers• Cost the taxpayer around £90m in 2010/11 in England (excluding research)• In 2010, 10.8% cattle farms in England were put under restriction due to a TB incident.• Around 25,000 cattle were slaughtered for TB control in England in 2010 2
The policy contextThe Coalition Government’s bTBeradication programme promotespartnership working acrossgovernment, the farming industryand the veterinary profession, aswell as responsibility and cost-sharing 4
Social Capital: The stocks of social trust, networks and values that people can draw upon in order to improve their livelihoods (Putnam, 1995). 5
Types of social capital• Bonding - Links between families and close friends (e.g. within the business)• Bridging - Links between communities (e.g. consumers, wider community)• Linking - Vertical linkages through society linking individuals/ organisations with unequal power (e.g. DEFRA, NFU representatives) 6
Key findingsLinking social capital –“A lot of the people making policy andthinking up all these inspections dont have aclue. TB is crippling”Bridging social capital -“I’ve known my vet for 30 odd years so I havethe greatest respect for the man. He has thewellbeing of my herd and the industry at heartwhich I sometimes doubt if the Ministry has.”Bonding social capital -“It’s difficult to talk to my wife about itbecause she’s too close, we just get eachother upset” 9
Profiling the farmer groups – Vulnerable and internally focused• Feel in less control over their business and have higher risk perception• More fatalistic and felt that there was nothing they could do to reduce risk• Mainly sourced information from other farmers• Slightly more experience of bTB but no difference between the groups in terms of number of breakdowns or the number of cattle lost 16
Profiling the farmer groups – Resilient and externally focused• Resilient farmers feel that there is plenty of support available to them• Higher proportion of NFU members• Slightly more trusting of authority• More confidence in the knowledge of Defra, Animal Health and the NFU 17
Conclusions• Linking social capital has an important influence on levels of perceived resilience• Distinction between internally focused and externally focused farmers (bridging social capital)• Bonding social capital does not necessarily increase perceived resilience• Changes in attitudes do not necessarily lead to changes in behaviour• While social capital may influence attitudes, government intervention may be needed to influence behaviour 19