Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Research Abstract

I finally submitted my application for the graduate research support scheme which gives a maximum of $3000 for masters students to do overseas field work. It took a few edits but I finally sent it in today. I thought it'd be nice to share / record down what I wrote for the abstract and objective of field work. It's long.

Singapore and its Agricultural Hinterlands: Urban Demand Impact on the Environmental Behaviour of Malaysian Vegetable Farmers

ABSTRACT OF THESIS (200 word limit)
With the rapid growth of urban centers globally, urban consumption is proving to have a greater regional and global impact than before. Singapore being a city-state provides the perfect case study for the impact of urban demand on commercial primary production in its regional hinterlands of Malaysia and Indonesia. Previously urban-rural agricultural issues within national boundaries have now become a dialogue between global urban cities and transnational agrarian regions.

Malaysia has moved from a colonial agricultural hinterland of Singapore to currently a transnational hinterland of the city-state. Hence Malaysia’s sustainable agricultural practices now have to respond to both its national imperatives as well as “foreign” environmental benchmark. While there are physical studies done of environmental impacts from agriculture, the factors influencing farmers’ actions, decision-making and environmental behaviour remains a black box for researchers, managers and policy makers alike.

Based on Singapore’s vegetable imports, this study aims to:
  1. Examine the driving factors influencing farmer’s environmental behaviour and decision-making process that determines adoption of farming practices.
  2. Identify the hierarchy of influence that these driving factors have on vegetable farmers and in the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.
  3. Show the interrelationship between Singapore’s vegetable consumption trends and Malaysia’s supply of its vegetables by looking at specific aspects of the vegetable trading system.

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