Chinas’ successfully increased food production during the last 30 years has causedsignificant negative external impacts and subsequent escalating environmental costs (Ashand Edmonds, 1998). This dilemma has recently become a popular issue and thegovernment attaches great importance towards a more sustainable agricultural production(UNDP, 2006). The challenge is to enhance well-grounded approaches that accomplish ofeffective agricultural trainings, encouraging farmers to adopt optimized practices.According to recent decision-making theories, a successful implementation is also closelyrelated to the target group’s social and cognitive preferences. In order to get moreinformation about farmers’ inherent decision-making factors an explorative quantitativesurvey of 394 farmers was conducted in Shandong Province. Next to descriptive economicand agronomic analyses, a structural equation model gave evidence that beside farmers’economic reasons, values and guānxi-relationships indeed show an influence on theextracted agri-environmental attitude factors as well as on manifest behaviour variables.Concluding results reveal the farmers varying preferences and give explanations out of thesocial and cognitive paths to explain why they behave different or have other focussedattitudes. Finally, recommendations for more effective training methods are given thatconsider the farmers’ individual motivations.
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