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Farmer innovation diffusion via network building: a case of winter greenhouse diffusion in China

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  • Bin Wu

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  • Liyan Zhang
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    Abstract

    Farmer innovation diffusion (FID) in the developing world is not simply the adoption of an innovation made by farmers, but a process of communication and cooperation between farmers, governments, and other stakeholders. While increasing attention has been paid to farmer innovation, little is known about how farmers’ innovations are successfully diffused. To fill this gap, this paper aims to address the following questions: What conditions are necessary for farmers to participate in FID? How is a collaborative network built up between farmers and stakeholders for this purpose? And what roles can government play? The above questions are addressed through analysis of the diffusion of winter greenhouse technology in China. A framework for analyzing a FID system is developed, and the conclusion is drawn that building mutual trust and collaborative networks is crucial for the success of FID. Furthermore, this network building can be broken down into various levels with different scales, speeds and consequences for FID: informal networks among farmers themselves, farmer-led networks, and government-facilitated networks. The success of government intervention depends upon building and enhancing the collaborative networks in which farmer leadership is crucial. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-013-9438-6
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 641-651

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:30:y:2013:i:4:p:641-651

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

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    Related research

    Keywords: Farmer innovation diffusion; Farmer leadership; Government intervention; Collaborative network building; Winter greenhouse diffusion; China;

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    1. HU, Ruifa & YANG, Zhijian & KELLY, Peter & HUANG, Jikun, 2009. "Agricultural extension system reform and agent time allocation in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 303-315, June.
    2. Jessica Goldberger, 2008. "Non-governmental organizations, strategic bridge building, and the “scientization” of organic agriculture in Kenya," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 271-289, June.
    3. Jasper Eshuis & Marian Stuiver, 2005. "Learning in context through conflict and alignment: Farmers and scientists in search of sustainable agriculture," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 137-148, 06.
    4. Biggs, Stephen D., 1990. "A multiple source of innovation model of agricultural research and technology promotion," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(11), pages 1481-1499, November.
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