Revealing the intentions of farmers to recultivate abandoned farmland: A case study of the Buryat Republic in Russia

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Despite the looming land scarcity suited for agricultural expansion, farmland abandonment is widespread globally. The recultivation of some abandoned farmlands could unlock the untapped agricultural potential. Yet, little is known about the determinants of recultivation. To better understand the behavioral intentions of farmers regarding the recultivation of abandoned lands, we concentrated on the Buryat Republic in Russia, where agricultural land abandonment is widespread and farmers with different ethnicities carry out diverse agricultural practices. We conducted 149 face-to-face interviews with the farmers in the Buryat Republic in 2018 and filled a structured questionnaire on farm’s and farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics, perceived corruption, and farmers’ behavioral intentions regarding expected land use. We modeled the intention of recultivation with the Bayesian networks. The Bayesian networks analysis showed that perceived corruption was considered to be a barrier to recultivation. Our study also showed that non-Buryat ethnic and young farmers are more likely to recultivate abandoned land. Abandoned farmlands without or with a low degree of afforestation were preferred for recultivation. In sum, our study showed how behavioral aspects of political trust, the farm’s and farmer's characteristics, in combination with regional and locational characteristics, may shape farmers’ decisions on land use. The results provide an important ground to assess regional land-use policies, which should foster the recultivation of abandoned lands while preserving ecosystem services in the global hotspots of farmland abandonment, such as Russia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105513
JournalLand Use Policy
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

ID: 273014344