Agricultural information exchange and organizational ties: The effect of network topology on managing agrodiversity
Increasing agricultural diversity, particularly perennial based agroforestry systems, is re-emerging as a mechanism for ecological and economic benefits through the mitigation of environmental risks. By and large, rural producer social networks are important to the exchange of information on such complex systems and associated agrarian management practices. These information networks are not restricted to producers as other agrarian-based organizations are active within the larger agricultural innovation system. However, little is known about the effects of such organizational ties on the emergent properties of producer network structures, which play a critical role in the successful exchange of complex agrarian information and the adoption of management practices that result in higher agrodiversity. Accordingly, this study investigates information network structures within the agrarian environment in order to understand the barriers to, and development of, effective farm management, specifically the management of agrodiversity. Network data was collected from producers in two geographically separate areas in the economically important cocoa (Theobroma cacao) growing region of Ghana [Site A, located close to an urban centre, had high frequency of contact with agro-environmental organizations and Site B, in a remote location, had a low frequency of contact] on the exchange of agroforestry management practices. Results showed that although 31% of producers in Site A relied exclusively on fellow producers for agroecological information, the majority of producers formed ties to one or more of the rural organizations operating within these communities. And producers with greater access to organizations were situated in agrarian information networks with lower density, thus more diffuse networks. Furthermore, producers with ties to organizations were likely to be positioned in more efficient information networks as identified by a low level of redundant ties and this efficiency was positively correlated to higher reported on-farm agrodiversity. The success of information exchange on agro-environmental practices, such as managing agrodiversity, within producer networks may be distinctly coupled with the presence of organizational ties. Unlike common-pooled resources that may require highly dense networks for trust-based collective action, diverse agricultural systems that are innovation driven arguably require diffuse networks for efficient exchange of complex information. Policy that promotes appropriate network structures for the exchange of such information is strategic for persistent cocoa production systems. This study provides further evidence of the role of information networks on the exchange and practice of innovation in agricultural systems, particularly in developing country agriculture.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Krishna, Anirudh, 2004. "Understanding, measuring and utilizing social capital: clarifying concepts and presenting a field application from India," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 291-305, December.
- Lenore Newman & Ann Dale, 2007. "Homophily and Agency: Creating Effective Sustainable Development Networks," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 79-90, February.
- Matuschke, Ira & Mishra, Ritesh R. & Qaim, Matin, 2007. "Adoption and Impact of Hybrid Wheat in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1422-1435, August.
- Howells, Jeremy, 2006. "Intermediation and the role of intermediaries in innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 715-728, June.
- Timothy Conley & Udry Christopher, 2001. "Social Learning Through Networks: The Adoption of New Agricultural Technologies in Ghana," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 668-673.
- Krishna, Anirudh, 2001. "Moving from the Stock of Social Capital to the Flow of Benefits: The Role of Agency," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 925-943, June.
- Matuschke, Ira, 2008. "Evaluating the impact of social networks in rural innovation systems: An overview," IFPRI discussion papers 816, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Yorobe Jr., J.M. & Rejesus, R.M. & Hammig, M.D., 2011. "Insecticide use impacts of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Farmer Field Schools: Evidence from onion farmers in the Philippines," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(7), pages 580-587, September.
- Lan Anh Hoang & Jean-Christophe Castella & Paul Novosad, 2006. "Social networks and information access: Implications for agricultural extension in a rice farming community in northern Vietnam," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 23(4), pages 513-527, December.
- David Spielman & Kristin Davis & Martha Negash & Gezahegn Ayele, 2011.
"Rural innovation systems and networks: findings from a study of Ethiopian smallholders,"
Agriculture and Human Values,
Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 28(2), pages 195-212, June.
- Spielman, David J. & Davis, Kristin E. & Negash, Martha & Ayele, Gezahegn, 2008. "Rural innovation systems and networks: Findings from a study of Ethiopian smallholders," IFPRI discussion papers 759, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Demiryurek, Kursat, 2010. "Analysis of information systems and communication networks for organic and conventional hazelnut producers in the Samsun province of Turkey," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(7), pages 444-452, September.
- Klerkx, Laurens & Aarts, Noelle & Leeuwis, Cees, 2010. "Adaptive management in agricultural innovation systems: The interactions between innovation networks and their environment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(6), pages 390-400, July.
- Julie Ingram, 2008. "Agronomist–farmer knowledge encounters: an analysis of knowledge exchange in the context of best management practices in England," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(3), pages 405-418, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:109:y:2012:i:c:p:9-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
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.