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Abstract

Adoption research for many years has considered individual farmer as the basis of analysis, whereas, the effect of networks governing a farmer’s decision-making has received limited attention. Moreover, the spread of technology over different generation of adopters has not been addressed adequately. Hence, farmers’ position within the agricultural information networks and their adoption decision, may be studied to formulate some lower order propositions regarding the diffusion of agricultural innovations within social networks. The present study was conducted at Nadia District of West Bengal, India to study the spread of banana (Musa paradisiacal L.) and guava (Psidium guajava L.) cultivation among the farmers of selected villages. Case study method and focused group discussion was used to track this spread over different generations of adopters. Sociometric technique was employed to find out the network score of farmers in the agricultural information network. The fractional ranking of network scores of farmers was then compared with their relative earliness in the spread of banana and guava cultivation. It was found that both in the spread of banana and guava cultivation, most of the farmers who had higher network scores were earlier adopters of banana and guava cultivation practices and vice versa. This indicates the possible relations between farmers’ adoption-decision regarding new crops and their position in social networks.

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