GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2010, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (10): 1757-1766.doi: 10.11821/yj2010100004

• Urban and Rural Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Quantitative evaluation on effect of farmers' interaction in rural community:Evidence from Mengzhai Village, Henan Province

LUO Qing1,2, LI Xiao-jian1,2   

  1. 1. Research Institute of Yellow River Civilization and Sustainable Development, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China;
    2. Department of Resource and Environmental Science/Institute of Regional Sustainable Development, Henan University of Economics and Law, Zhengzhou 450002, China
  • Received:2009-11-03 Revised:2010-05-26 Online:2010-10-20 Published:2010-10-20

Abstract:

Agriculture information flows will produce interactive learning effect, and the existence of interactive learning effect plays very important roles in the spread of agricultural technology. Based on the surveys in Mengzhai Village, Henan Province, we collect the data concerning the social and economic conditions on garlic production of neighbors, relatives and nearby-plot farmers, examine interactive learning effect, and analyze the interaction consequences in different types of groups. Results show that: (1) endogenous interaction effects exist only in the kinship group; (2) contextual interaction effect exists in nearby-plot groups and neighborhood group, but interactive learning effects have remarkable differences between the groups; (3) correlated effect exists in all the groups. Compared with the kinship group, the other groups have more correlated effect. Correlated effect is much weaker than endogenous interaction effect in the kinship group, and it is also smaller than contextual interaction effect in nearby-plot group and neighborhood group; (4) direction can be identified in farmers' interactive learning. This suggests that a few farmers learn new methods by communicating with external actors or accumulating the new knowledge by planting the garlic, and their interaction with other farmers might result in knowledge externalities. The size of externalities depends on the degree of intimacy between farmers. The above conclusions have some important policy implications for the diffusion of new technology in Mengzhai Village. For example, in the extension of new technology, we can select a few farmers with stronger absorptive ability in different kinship groups, encourage them to adopt new technology, and thus affect other farmers to accept new technology by the interactive effect. These results revise the findings of foreign scholars. This academic research has important meanings for policy-making.

Key words: farmer interaction, interaction effects, information flow