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Social capital and agricultural innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • van Rijn, Fédes
  • Bulte, Erwin
  • Adekunle, Adewale


In this paper we use a novel and extensive dataset to explore the association between different forms of social capital and innovation in agriculture, for a sample of African countries. We find mixed evidence. While structural social capital, especially in the form of connections beyond the village, is associated with more extensive adoption of innovations, the reverse is true for cognitive social capital (capturing shared norms and trust within the local community).

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  • van Rijn, Fédes & Bulte, Erwin & Adekunle, Adewale, 2012. "Social capital and agricultural innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 112-122.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:108:y:2012:i:c:p:112-122 DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2011.12.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Micheels, Eric T. & Nolan, James F., 2016. "Examining the effects of absorptive capacity and social capital on the adoption of agricultural innovations: A Canadian Prairie case study," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 127-138.
    2. Fédes Rijn & Ephraim Nkonya & Adewale Adekunle, 2015. "The impact of agricultural extension services on social capital: an application to the Sub-Saharan African Challenge Program in Lake Kivu region," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(4), pages 597-615, December.
    3. Ng’ang’a, Stanley Karanja & Bulte, Erwin H. & Giller, Ken E. & Ndiwa, Nicholas N. & Kifugo, Shem C. & McIntire, John M. & Herrero, Mario & Rufino, Mariana C., 2016. "Livestock wealth and social capital as insurance against climate risk: A case study of Samburu County in Kenya," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 44-54.
    4. Kilelu, Catherine W. & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2016. "Unraveling the role of innovation platforms in supporting coevolution of innovation: Contributions and tensions in a smallholder dairy-development program," IFPRI book chapters,in: Innovation for inclusive value-chain development: Successes and challenges, chapter 9, pages 269-302 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Andrieu, Nadine & Descheemaeker, Katrien & Sanou, Thierry & Chia, Eduardo, 2015. "Effects of technical interventions on flexibility of farming systems in Burkina Faso: Lessons for the design of innovations in West Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 125-137.
    6. Kilelu, Catherine W. & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2013. "Unravelling the role of innovation platforms in supporting co-evolution of innovation: Contributions and tensions in a smallholder dairy development programme," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 65-77.
    7. repec:eee:agisys:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:221-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:agisys:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:13-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Tisorn Songsermsawas & Kathy Baylis & Ashwini Chhatre & Hope Michelson, 2014. "Can Peers Improve Agricultural Productivity?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4958, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Arlette S. Saint Ville & Gordon M. Hickey & Uli Locher & Leroy E. Phillip, 2016. "Exploring the role of social capital in influencing knowledge flows and innovation in smallholder farming communities in the Caribbean," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(3), pages 535-549, June.
    11. Zhunusova, Eliza & Kyalo Willy, Daniel & Holm-Müller, Karin, 2013. "An Analysis of Returns to Integrated Soil Conservation Practices in the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 160676, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    12. Yang, Huan & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2014. "Functions and limitations of farmer cooperatives as innovation intermediaries: Findings from China," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 115-125.
    13. Abebe, Gumataw K. & Bijman, Jos & Pascucci, Stefano & Omta, Onno, 2013. "Adoption of improved potato varieties in Ethiopia: The role of agricultural knowledge and innovation system and smallholder farmers’ quality assessment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 22-32.
    14. Kraaijvanger, Richard & Veldkamp, Tom & Almekinders, Conny, 2016. "Considering change: Evaluating four years of participatory experimentation with farmers in Tigray (Ethiopia) highlighting both functional and human–social aspects," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 38-50.
    15. Pamuk, H., 2014. "Innovation systems, saving, trust, and economic development in Africa," Other publications TiSEM c759f3ee-97a6-4689-a0d7-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Willy, Daniel Kyalo & Holm-Müller, Karin, 2013. "Social influence and collective action effects on farm level soil conservation effort in rural Kenya," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 94-103.
    17. Nkonya, Ephraim & Kato, Edward & Oduol, Judith & Pali, Pamela & Farrow, Andrew, 2013. "Initial impact of integrated agricultural research for development in East and Central Africa," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 8(3), September.


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