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Sowing the Seeds of Social Relations: The Role of Social Capital in Crop Diversity

  • Paul Winters

    (Department of Economics American University Washington, DC)

  • Romina Cavatassi

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Leslie Lipper

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

This paper explores the relationship between social capital and crop diversity. The study is conducted in an area of Ethiopia where inter-specific diversity is significant and that diversity includes crops that are of important in terms of their genetic value since it is a center of origin or diversity for these crops. The results indicate that linking social capital does not lead to a decline in crop diversity but actually increases it suggesting that interventions by formal organizations need not lead to reduction in inter-specific diversity. However, the results also suggest that households with strong social links within a community (bonding social capital) are less likely to be diversified implying that policies that seek to promote sustainable utilization should be wary of only working to promote greater grassroots organization since this may not support crop diversity.

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Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 06-16.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0616
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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Binswanger, Hans P., 1989. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Bulletins 7455, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  2. Van Dusen, M. Eric, 2000. "In Situ Conservation Of Crop Genetic Resources In The Mexican Milpa System," Dissertations 11941, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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