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The impact of social networks on hybrid seed adoption in India

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  • Ira Matuschke
  • Matin Qaim

Abstract

This article adds to the literature about the impact of social networks on the adoption of modern seed technologies among smallholder farmers in developing countries. The analysis centers on the adoption of hybrid wheat and hybrid pearl millet in India. In the local context, both crops are cultivated mainly on a subsistence basis, and they provide examples of hybrid technologies at very different diffusion stages: while hybrid wheat was commercialized in India only in 2001, hybrid pearl millet was launched in 1965. The analysis is based on surveys of wheat and millet farmers in the state of Maharashtra. Comprehensive data on farmer characteristics and social interactions allow for identifying individual networks, thereby improving upon previous research approaches that employed village-level variables as proxies for network effects. Using econometric models, we find that individual social networks play an important role for technology adoption decisions. While village-level variables may be used as suitable proxies at later diffusion stages, they tend to underestimate the role of individual networks during early phases of adoption. Copyright (c) 2009 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Ira Matuschke & Matin Qaim, 2009. "The impact of social networks on hybrid seed adoption in India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(5), pages 493-505, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:40:y:2009:i:5:p:493-505
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