Collective action in commercial mushroom production: the role of social capital in the management of informal farmer groups in Swaziland
AbstractWith over 90% of mushroom producers having opted to participate in the industry through informal farmer groups, this paper sought to identify the key factors that unify members of informal collective initiatives. In contrast to formal organisations, which are regulated by law, informal groups are fully autonomous and not regulated by any legal instrument in Swaziland. Based on a conceptual framework that uses social capital dimensions to study collective action, trust, cooperation and communication were identified as the key elements responsible for ensuring cohesion in informal groups engaged in mushroom production. Further analysis indicated that trust is positively influenced by gender, age and religion, while cooperation was found to be influenced by members’ dependence on mushrooms for food. Communication, on the other hand, was found to be positively influenced by the level of trust and member cooperation. The empirical evidence indicates that members from communities characterized by positive cognitive social capital are most likely to engage in voluntary collective action in an attempt to improve their livelihoods. The study, therefore, recommends that informal groups developed voluntarily by community members should be encouraged and embraced as an important element of Swaziland’s development agenda.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil with number 126764.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
collective action; social capital; mushrooms; Swaziland; Crop Production/Industries; Farm Management;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-07-23 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-IUE-2012-07-23 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-07-23 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002.
"Inequality and group participation: theory and evidence from rural Tanzania,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 235-273, August.
- La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Inequality And Group Participation: Theory And Evidence From Rural Tanzania," CEPR Discussion Papers 2433, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Eliana La Ferrara, . "Inequality and Group Participation: Theory and Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Working Papers 161, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Inequality and Group Participation: Theory and Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Development Working Papers 138, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Jeff Carpenter & Amrita Daniere & Lois Takahashi, 2004.
"Cooperation, trust, and social capital in southeast asian urban slums,"
Artefactual Field Experiments
00035, The Field Experiments Website.
- Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Daniere, Amrita G. & Takahashi, Lois M., 2004. "Cooperation, trust, and social capital in Southeast Asian urban slums," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 533-551, December.
- Jeffrey Carpenter & Amrita Daniere & Lois Takahashi, 2003. "Cooperation, Trust, and Social Capital in Southeast Asian Urban Slums," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0309, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- Ortmann, Gerald F. & King, Robert P., 2007. "Agricultural cooperatives II: Can they facilitate access of small-scale farmers in South Africa to input and product markets?," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 46(2), June.
- Cook, Michael L. & Plunkett, Brad, 2006. "Collective Entrepreneurship: An Emerging Phenomenon in Producer-Owned Organizations," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(02), August.
- Holloway, Garth & Nicholson, Charles & Delgado, Chris & Staal, Steve & Ehui, Simeon, 2000. "Agroindustrialization through institutional innovation: Transaction costs, cooperatives and milk-market development in the east-African highlands," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 279-288, September.
- Bolin, Kristian & Lindgren, Björn & Lindström, Martin & Nystedt, Paul, 2003. "Investments in social capital--implications of social interactions for the production of health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(12), pages 2379-2390, June.
- Jones, Eric C., 2004. "Wealth-Based Trust and the Development of Collective Action," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 691-711, April.
- La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997.
"Trust in Large Organizations,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
- Ortmann, Gerald F. & King, Robert P., 2007. "Agricultural Cooperatives I: History, Theory and Problems," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 46(1), March.
- John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 2007.
"Education and Social Capital,"
Eastern Economic Journal,
Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-19, Winter.
- Katungi, Enid & Edmeades, Svetlana & Smale, Melinda, 2006.
"Gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda:,"
CAPRi working papers
59, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Enid Katungi & Svetlana Edmeades & Melinda Smale, 2008. "Gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 35-52.
- R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010.
"Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
310, David K. Levine.
- Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
- Pierre Matungul & Michael Lyne & Gerald Ortmann, 2001. "Transaction costs and crop marketing in the communal areas of Impendle and Swayimana, KwaZulu-Natal," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 347-363.
- Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
- Mitchell, Andrew David & Bossert, Thomas J., 2007. "Measuring dimensions of social capital: Evidence from surveys in poor communities in Nicaragua," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 50-63, January.
- Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005.
"Cooperation in collective action,"
The Economics of Transition,
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(3), pages 473-498, 07.
- Colin Poulton & Jonathan Kydd & Andrew Dorward, 2006. "Overcoming Market Constraints on Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 24(3), pages 243-277, 05.
- Lauren Pandolfelli & Ruth Meinzen-Dick & Stephan Dohrn, 2008. "Gender and collective action: motivations, effectiveness and impact," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 1-11.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.