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Innovation Trajectories in Honduras’ Coffee Value Chain? ‐ Public and the Private Influence on the Use of new Knowledge and Technology among Coffee Growers ‐

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  • Fromm, Ingrid
  • Hartwich, Frank
  • Romero, Gustavo
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    Abstract

    In this paper we present results from a study on the use of improved coffee production technology schemes among smallholder coffee producers in three prominent coffee producing regions in Honduras. We analyze the impact of various schemes (trajectories) in which different agents influence the producers’ decision to use new technologies. In particular, we distinguish the influence of a) private coffee buying organizations and b) government and public development agencies on the innovation behavior of coffee growers. Drawing from network data that depict the internal and outbound connectedness of producers in three village communities in main coffee producing zones in Honduras, we applied tools of social network analysis to find out how interactions with certain agents, separately and cumulatively, has influenced their use of improved methods in coffee production and marketing. The results suggest that there are significant differences in the way that various providers of knowledge and technology, especially private buyers and development agencies, influence the farmers’ behavior towards innovation. The influence of buyers, according to our data, is focused on certification and quality aspects, whereas development agents focus on improved agronomic practices. We also find that farmers who communicate with the extension branch of input providers tend to be more innovative. These results suggest that development programs should take more seriously into account the role of private actors in innovation among agricultural producers and, hence, design development programs in such a way to allow for collaboration with these agents.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/100475
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks in its series 2010 Internatonal European Forum, February 8-12, 2010, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria with number 100475.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi10:100475

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    Web page: http://www.fooddynamics.org/

    Related research

    Keywords: Coffee production; innovation; upgrading; social networks; Honduras; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Relations/Trade; Marketing; Production Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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