Social capital and its role in agricultural technology adoption
This summer, Catalyst Fellow Alain Desdoigts participated in a workshop that explored research avenues and innovative design for the learning and adoption of new agricultural technologies, jointly hosted by Ferdi, Cerdi and SPIA of the CGIAR. The sessions were designed to share knowledge and spark new ideas among 19 experts, and Alain presented findings from work that he and Francesco Cordaro have done relating to the role of social capital in technology adoption.
We are pleased that this ongoing work was accepted and well-received by this group of experts. Alain and Francesco are in the process of developing a full paper detailing their findings, but we can share with you this policy brief as an introduction:
In this study, we allege that the hypothesis in favor of a status quo bias is a plausible explanation when it comes to better understanding the lack or the absence of adoption of the best farming practices in small rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Our results also suggest that the greater a farmer’s social capital, the more likely he is to exchange information, learn and eventually revise his farming practices. Such information about farming techniques disseminates through weak ties (bridges) built within agricultural organizations more than across family or diaspora members (i.e., via their stronger ties).