Factors influencing the stay-exit intention of small livestock farmers: empirical evidence from southern Chile

Luis M. Carter-Leal, Alfons Oude-Lansink, Helmut Saatkamp


This study analyses the factors driving the stay-exit intention of small livestock farmers located in southern Chile. Technical, economic, and social characteristics from 212 farmers were included in this study. Through an empirical probit model we identified the variables that should be considered when developing rural policies aimed at increasing the likelihood to stay in farming. The results showed that 12 out of the 30 parameters were significant (p<0.10), with an extremely good fit of the model (McFadden pseudo-R2 = 0.25, Count R2 = 75.9%). Particularly, ‘female farmer’, ‘positive expectation about future farming life’, ‘capacity of farm income to cover the expenses of the whole family’, ‘mixed production’, ‘participation in an association’, and ‘distance to the nearest city’ were positively associated with the stay intention. Moreover, our study also indicates that ‘existence of a defined retirement age’, ‘existence of a defined sale price for the farm’, ‘a mixed farm focused on livestock production’, ‘the possibility to make own decisions’, ‘age squared’, and the ‘number of people living at the farm’ were negatively associated with the stay intention. Our empirical findings suggest that farmer characteristics (gender, family size), the farming system (multi-activity production, efficiency), and social aspects of the rural society (associations, protection of agricultural products) are also important aspects that should be considered by rural development policies aimed at improving the likelihood of staying, in addition to the technical characteristics of the farming which have been traditionally addressed in developing countries.


exit intention; peasant; family farming; binary choice model; South America

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2018161-10806