Since the end of the latest rice-pledging scheme, Thai rice farmers have had more freedom in selecting marketing channels. Understanding the determinants of farmers' decision-making associated with these channels is of particular interest to multiple stakeholders in the rice value chain. This study aims to examine how economic, relational and psychological factors concurrently underpin Thai rice farmers' decision-making and influence their marketing channel choice.
Drawing on the theory of reasoned action and utility maximization of farmers’ decision making, this study used structural equation modeling to examine data collected from a nationwide sample of Thai rice farmers (n = 637), focusing on their past and intentional use of the three major marketing channels for paddy rice.
The determinants identified include four direct independent variables: attitude, subjective norm (social referents), transaction conditions and economic goals, and two indirect independent variables: past behavior and trust. Multi-group analysis suggests that rice co-operative users were more empowered to consider economic goals and attitude toward the channel, whilst rice miller and local collector users were more likely to be influenced by their social referents and the transaction conditions offered by the channel.
The findings highlight the need for policy to address trust and transparency issues with intermediaries and to empower farmers through the improvement of market access.
The study makes a unique and substantive contribution to the knowledge of farmers' decision-making about marketing channel choice in Thailand and theoretically contributes to the indirect role of past behavior in predicting prospective intention.
Thamthanakoon, N., Huang, I.Y., Eastham, J., Ward, S. and Manning, L. (2021), "Factors driving Thailand rice farmer decision-making in the choice of marketing channel", British Food Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-11-2020-1040
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