A dedicated research and development team from The University of Western Australia is investigating new ways to increase adoption of on-farm innovations in livestock management.
The project, which launched early this year, is part of a collaborative research and development (R&D) partnership involving Meat & Livestock Australia, MLA Donor Company and UWA, including The UWA Institute of Agriculture.
The four-year BeefLinks research partnership is delivering an integrated and complementary R&D program for northern and southern production systems across WA that achieves profitable, consistent and sustainable beef yields matched to consumer expectations.
The new ‘Producer insights for adoption outcomes across WA’ project will take a transdisciplinary approach to improving research adoption outcomes.
The research team includes the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment’s Centre for Agricultural Economics and Development (CAED) members Dr Fiona Dempster, Associate Professor Fay Rola-Rubzen, Associate Professor Marit Kragt, Dr Amin Mugera and Dr Abbie Rogers.
Dr Dempster said each researcher specialised in behavioural economics, transdisciplinary research, agri-business and rural practice change and adoption.
“This project applies behavioural economics across a set of work packages to obtain valuable insights from industry experts, partners and researchers that will help to improve current adoption rates and BeefLinks activities going forward,” she said.
Over the next 18 months, the researchers will conduct interviews, focus group discussions and surveys with producers and other stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the complex issues associated with decision-making, the drivers impacting adoption rates and practice change, and the factors affecting producer’s choice of markets.
“We welcome beef producers and supply chain actors in Western Australia to contact us about getting involved and participating in the research."Dr Fiona Dempster
The insights gained will be used to develop products for industry and project partners that will improve decision-making and raise awareness of the profitability of different risk management strategies.
The project will also evaluate the current extension activities and project management structure across the BeefLinks program.
The project outputs will offer recommendations for improvements and contribute to the development of the broader, additional co-funded ‘Involve and Partner’ activities across the program to ensure a clear adoption strategy is developed and implemented on and off-farm for this value chain.
BeefLinks Program Coordinator UWA Professor Philip Vercoe said the project was a timely and valuable addition to the BeefLinks program.
“By investing in a project like this, we are working towards improving program effectiveness and supporting practice change and impact, including producer’s knowledge, skills and confidence,” Professor Vercoe said.
Rosanna Candler (Communications Officer, The UWA Institute of Agriculture) +61 08 6488 1650
Tammie Harold (UWA School of Agriculture and Environment’s Centre for Agricultural Economics and Development) +61 8 6488 5507