This research investigates farmers’ cognitive perceptions of risk and the behavioral intentions to undertake farm-level risk-reduction measures. It has been observed that people who are susceptible to natural hazards often fail to act, or do very little, to protect their assets or lives. To answer the question of why some people show adaptive behavior while others do not, a socio-psychological model of precautionary adaptation based on protection motivation theory and trans-theoretical stage model has been applied for the ﬁrst time to areas of drought risk in the developing countries cultural context. The applicability of the integrated model is explored by means of a representative sample survey of smallholder farmers in northern Ethiopia. The result of the study showed that there is a statistically signiﬁcant association between farmer’s behavioral intention to undertake farm-level risk-reduction measures and the main important protection motivation model variables. High perceived vulnerability, severity of consequences, self-efﬁcacy, and response efﬁcacy lead to higher levels of behavioral intentions to undertake farmlevel risk-reduction measures. For farmers in the action stage, self-efﬁcacy and response efﬁcacy were the main motivators of behavioral intention. For farmers in the contemplative stage, self-efﬁcacy and cost appear to be the main motivators for them to act upon risk reduction, while perceived severity of consequences and cost of response actions were found to be important for farmers in the precontemplative stage.
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