Climate variability and the Australian sugarcane farmer: a phenomenographic analysis of farmer experiences of managing and discussing climate risk

PhD Thesis


Cliffe, Neil. 2018. Climate variability and the Australian sugarcane farmer: a phenomenographic analysis of farmer experiences of managing and discussing climate risk. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5f6972a0dccd3
Title

Climate variability and the Australian
sugarcane farmer: a phenomenographic analysis of farmer
experiences of managing and discussing climate risk

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorCliffe, Neil
SupervisorStone, Roger
Coutts, Jeff
Reardon-Smith, Kathryn
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages264
Year2018
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5f6972a0dccd3
Abstract

This research contributes to the understanding of how Australian sugarcane farmers conceive of their management of the impacts of the highly variable climate in which their businesses are situated. The historical group extension and information communication environment which support farmer discussions and consideration of climate information is described, particularly in the way in which participative Managing for Climate Risk workshops have been delivered in Queensland, Australia. The decline in the provision of traditional extension services is discussed, and the consequent opportunity that improvements in digital networks provide to augment and or replace extension services with different communication tools. Novel discussion support tools (a series of four machinima, animations produced in a virtual world format) are developed, evaluated and tested in a farmer workshop, delivered in a collaborative, social learning environment, using adult learning principles. Developmental phenomenography is used as the principal qualitative research methodology to understand and describe farmer conceptions of managing and discussing climate risk. Post-workshop survey and semi-structured interview data are analysed phenomenographically within the research to articulate the variation in farmer conceptions to related phenomena. Conclusions and recommendations for the climate science and communication community are developed which may lead to improvements in the ways that farmers are engaged and supported in their learning about managing the impacts of climate variability in the future. Additionally, the opportunity to use phenomenography as a qualitative evaluation methodology in agriculture extension programs is discussed.

Keywordsagricultural climate risk; sugar cane farming
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300208. Farm management, rural management and agribusiness
410499. Environmental management not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
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