M.M. Escalada, Visayas State University, Leyte, Philippines, Ho Van Chien, Southern Regional Plant Protection Center, Long Dinh, Vietnam, K.L. Heong, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines
Farmers have many beliefs that relates to deciding if they will intend to adopt ecological engineering techniques. On September 10, 2010, HE the vice minister of agriculture and rural development of Vietnam, Dr Bui Ba Bong, launched the ecological engineering initiative in My Tho. A pre campaign survey was conducted just before the launch and a year after the launch, the post campaign survey was carried out. Earlier we reported significant changes in farmers’ attitudes and practices following the campaign. We had only used only a few of the belief statements to illustrate the changes.
Each belief has its own merit in influencing farmers; decisions, most often are made based on a combination of the key beliefs that make the change. In evaluating changes in attitudes, we summed all the belief scores:
where bi is the Likert scale score of each belief. In our surveys we used 15 belief statements and the Likert scale scores ranging from 1 to 5 were arranged such that 1 is most unfavorable and 5 the most favorable towards their intention to adopt. Thus the Sum_EE of the pre and post surveys ranges from 15, the most extreme case of non adoption to 75, the most extreme case of adoption.
The Sum_EE, computed from the scores, is evaluated for its internal consistency to gauge its reliability using the Cronbach’s alpha available in SPSS. The closer the Cronbach’s alpha is to 1, the higher is the internal consistency (Gliem & Gliem, 2003). In social science, the widely accepted alpha value is 0.70 or higher for a set of items is considered reliable.
We calculated the Cronbach’s alpha of farmers’ attitude scales pertaining to ecological engineering adoption in pre-post campaign surveys. As items were worded either positively or negatively, reverse recoding was done to all negatively worded statements. Since the Cronbach;s alpha were 0.74 and 0.68 for the pre and post campaign data sets, respectively, the sum_EE have acceptable reliability.
To compare pre and post differences in Sum_EE, the Mann-Whitney U, a nonparametric test that compares two unpaired groups, was performed. Results show that the Sum_EE increased significantly from pre and post campaign (U=94102.5, p<.0001).
To establish the EE Belief Quotient we expressed the Sum_EE as a fraction:
EE Belief Quotient, EBQ = (Sum_EE – min) / (max – min)
When expressed in this form, the index ranges from 0.0 to 1.0 with EBQ=1.0 when all the elements favor adoption (perfect adoption) and when EBQ = 0.0, is the perfect non adoption.
The means of these indices between pre and post were found to be significantly different, 0.604 and 0.676, respectively (F=56.3 p < 0.001). The campaign with on-the-ground communication efforts –community demonstration plots, farmer training, posters, leaflets and billboards – designed to change farmer attitudes toward ecological engineering had significant effects in modifying attitudes. Before the campaign the EBQ was 0.604 indicating slightly past the midway towards the ecological engineering ideas. These attitudes were further enhanced by the campaign, changing the belief quotient to 0.676, a 12% improvement. This implies that more farmers in Tien Giang province have favourable attitudes towards ecological engineering by populating the bunds near the rice fields with nectar rich flowers after the campaign.
Gliem, Joseph A. & Gliem, Rosemary R. 2003. Calculating, interpreting, and reporting Cronbach’s alpha realiability coefficiens for Likert-type scales. paper presented at the Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference in Adult, Continuing, and Community Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, Oct. 8-10, 2003.