Farmer innovation diffusion via network building: a case of winter greenhouse diffusion in China [Book Review]

Agriculture and Human Values 30 (4):641-651 (2013)
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Abstract

Farmer innovation diffusion (FID) in the developing world is not simply the adoption of an innovation made by farmers, but a process of communication and cooperation between farmers, governments, and other stakeholders. While increasing attention has been paid to farmer innovation, little is known about how farmers’ innovations are successfully diffused. To fill this gap, this paper aims to address the following questions: What conditions are necessary for farmers to participate in FID? How is a collaborative network built up between farmers and stakeholders for this purpose? And what roles can government play? The above questions are addressed through analysis of the diffusion of winter greenhouse technology in China. A framework for analyzing a FID system is developed, and the conclusion is drawn that building mutual trust and collaborative networks is crucial for the success of FID. Furthermore, this network building can be broken down into various levels with different scales, speeds and consequences for FID: informal networks among farmers themselves, farmer-led networks, and government-facilitated networks. The success of government intervention depends upon building and enhancing the collaborative networks in which farmer leadership is crucial

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