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How change agents and social capital influence the adoption of innovations among small farmers: Evidence from social networks in rural Bolivia

Author

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  • Monge, Mario
  • Hartwich, Frank
  • Halgin, Daniel

Abstract

"This paper presents results from a study that identified patterns of social interaction among small farmers in three agricultural subsectors in Bolivia—fish culture, peanut production, and quinoa production—and analyzed how social interaction influences farmers' behavior toward the adoption of pro-poor innovations. Twelve microregions were identified, four in each subsector, setting the terrain for an analysis of parts of social networks that deal with the diffusion of specific sets of innovations. Three hundred sixty farmers involved in theses networks as well as 60 change agents and other actors promoting directly or indirectly the diffusion of innovations were interviewed about the interactions they maintain with other agents in the network and the sociodemographic characteristics that influence their adoption behavior. The information derived from this data collection was used to test a wide range of hypotheses on the impact that the embeddedness of farmers in social networks has on the intensity with which they adopt innovations. Evidence provided by the study suggests that persuasion, social influence, and competition are significant influences in the decisions of farmers in poor rural regions in Bolivia to adopt innovations. The results of this study are meant to attract the attention of policymakers and practitioners who are interested in the design and implementation of projects and programs fostering agricultural innovation and who may want to take into account the effects of social interaction and social capital. Meanwhile, scholars of the diffusion of innovations may find evidence to further embrace the complexity and interdependence of social interactions in their models and approaches." from Author's Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Monge, Mario & Hartwich, Frank & Halgin, Daniel, 2008. "How change agents and social capital influence the adoption of innovations among small farmers: Evidence from social networks in rural Bolivia," IFPRI discussion papers 761, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:761
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    Cited by:

    1. F. Vidogbéna & A. Adégbidi & R. Tossou & F. Assogba-Komlan & T. Martin & M. Ngouajio & S. Simon & L. Parrot & S. T. Garnett & K. K. Zander, 2016. "Exploring factors that shape small-scale farmers’ opinions on the adoption of eco-friendly nets for vegetable production," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 1749-1770, December.
    2. Mequaninte, Teferi & Birner, Regina & Mueller, Ulrike, 2015. "Adoption of Land Management Practices in Ethiopia: Which Network Types," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212631, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Neilson, William & Wichmann, Bruno, 2014. "Social networks and non-market valuations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 155-170.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social networks; Agricultural innovation; Change agent; Social capital;

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