Understanding forest land conversion for agriculture in a developing country context: An application of the theory of planned behaviour among a cohort of Nigerian farmers

Ibrahim, Fausat Motunrayo
Osikabor, Benson
Olatunji, Bolanle Tawakalitu
Ogunwale, Grace Oluwatobi
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Sciendo (De Gruyter)
Natural and forest-rich ecosystems are determinants of environmental sustainability, which are threatened by forest land conversion for agricultural purposes, especially in less-developed contexts. Moreover, human behaviour is central to achieving the much desired ecologically balanced environment. Hence, a partly novel model informed by the theory of planned behaviour was used in the examination of forest land conversion for agricultural purposes. The study design was a cross-sectional survey targeted at a group of farmers of southwestern Nigeria. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire among 320 randomly selected crop farmers. Independent samples t test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to test the significance of difference in respondents’ forest conversion behaviour across subgroups of gender and age/education, respectively. Stepwise multiple linear regres sion was used to identify the determinants of forest conversion behaviour. Results showed that 87.8% of respondents had ever engaged in forest conversion. Gender and education had no significant effect on forest conversion behaviour (p > 0.05), but age did (p < 0.05). Attitude was the best determinant (β = 0.289, r = 0.510, R2 = 0.260, p < 0.001), subjective norm was better (β = 0.257, r = 0.496, R2 = 0.055, p < 0.001), while perceived behavioural control was good (β = 0.131, r = 0.398, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.012, p < 0.005). The three vari ables correlated with intention by a degree of 57.2% (multiple R = 0.572), while they explained 32.7% of the variance in intention (R2 =0.327). Intention was also found to be a significant determinant of behaviour (β = 0.222, r = 0.222, R2 = 0.049, p < 0.001). Middle age predisposes to, whereas younger and older age protects against greater extent of forest conversion. The partly novel model derived from the theory of planned behaviour proves the likely viability of the pursuit of socio-psychologically predicated interventions to enthrone forest conservation.
© 2022 Fausat Motunrayo Ibrahim et al., published by Sciendo. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ . The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Folia Forestalia Polonica, Series A – Forestry, 2022, Vol. 64 (3), 117–130, available online at: https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/ffp-2022-0012 . Keywords: attitude; behaviour; forest conversion behaviour; intention; perceived behavioural control; subjective norm; theory of planned behaviour; agricultural land; forest loss; Africa; Nigeria.
Ibrahim, F., Osikabor, B., Olatunji, B. & Ogunwale, G. (2022). Understanding forest land conversion for agriculture in a developing country context: An application of the theory of planned behaviour among a cohort of Nigerian farmers. Folia Forestalia Polonica, 64(3), 117-130. https://doi.org/10.2478/ffp-2022-0012