Date of Award

Fall 12-7-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Robert Pauly

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Joseph St. Marie

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. Tom Lansford

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

D. Edward Sayre

Committee Member 4 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Abstract

A plethora of case studies conducted in myriad locations find that factors influencing the adoption of agricultural innovation are different, emphasizing the need for locality specific understanding (Waddingon 2014). The diffusion of agricultural innovations may be influenced by the structure of the social system in which that diffusion is taking place. This study investigates the social structure of rural Afghan women, in an effort to determine how they interact and exchange information, and how the personal network structure, and the nature of the women’s interaction influences adoption of innovations. With the objective of framing rural development programs targeting women in Afghanistan to maximize potential beneficial effects, the ego- network data of rural Afghan women in 18 villages was collected. Lead-farmers were identified based upon her relative position in her network. The lead-farmers were trained in two agricultural innovations and adoption rate was observed among the women in each Farmer Field School (FFS). Consistent with the literature, a higher adoption rate was observed among the women in the FFS of the lead-farmer with higher brokering indices as compared to those with larger networks or those chosen at random. Contrary to the literature, communication beyond the FFS does not occur. The results of this study indicate that the dense social structure and cultural values in Afghanistan hinder the diffusion of agricultural innovations. The classical diffusion model which promotes trickle-down transfer of technology framework for agricultural development is not appropriate among women in rural Afghanistan. This study suggests that a rural development model in which broker women in the community are identified and trained to implement agricultural innovations, then supported to provide a formal atmosphere in which they transfer that technology to other farmers, is more appropriate.

Share

COinS