Farmers: Bureaucracy and Stress

Ursula Walsh, Zena Lynch, Surindar Dhesi, Cara Henry, Fiona McCrory, Lydia Edwards, Melanie Glithero

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site


Work related stress is a significant issue and farming has been identified as being a particularly high risk occupation. The causes are varied and complex yet there has been little research examining the financial and bureaucratic burdens on farmers and where support would be best focussed.This three stranded study utilised both qualitative and quantitative methods for a triangulated approach to explore the financial and bureaucratic factors which cause stress to farmers. The participants were male farmers, working and residing in Northern Ireland.Data was collected from 94 farmers using face to face questionnaires and a focus group. Participants were recruited through farming related public events and from purposive sampling. The perceptions of participants were analysed and found to form a clear agreement on the major sources of stress and how support should be provided. The results indicated that the major issues contributing to farmers’ work related stress included the burden of regulation and administration and financial issues.As the results indicated that one of the most significant causes of stress was the burden of bureaucracy, it is recommended that a comprehensive overhaul of the administration burdens facing farmers is undertaken to create more accessible, user friendly and less weighty administrative procedures.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNI Assembly
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 26 Apr 2017


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