Farmer social networks: The role of advice ties and organizational leadership in agroforestry adoption

TitleFarmer social networks: The role of advice ties and organizational leadership in agroforestry adoption
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsTian_Lin _, Aung_Phyo_Ko _, Maung_Maung_Than _, Catacutan DC, Finlayson RF, Isaac ME
Secondary TitlePLoS ONE
Key themesCivilSociety-Donors, Environment

With the decline in public budgets for agricultural extension support, ties between members of farmer groups are becoming more important to facilitate information transfer about agroforestry. This paper examines the role of social network ties in predicting organizational leadership in an agroforestry-based farmer group. Using social network data derived from interviews with members of farming groups based in the Ayeyarwady Delta of Myanmar, we established a positive relationship between advice-seeking ties and organizational leadership. In other words, farmers who were highly sought for agroforestry advice were more likely to be elected as leaders of the farmer group. Results show the frequency of interactions through advice-seeking ties also had a positive influence on the probability of farmers holding leadership positions. We found a core–periphery structure for the advice networks, whereby farmer leaders were overrepresented at the network core. Interestingly, general members of the farmer group were also in the core of the core-periphery structure, suggesting that engaging with farmers without leadership roles can also effectively disseminate agroforestry information to peripheral farmers. We conclude that farmer groups are valuable in agroforestry adoption and persistence and further analyses of formal leadership structures are needed to support more transparent and accountable governance.


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Journal Article