Quality of vegetable grower social networks and potential role for adoption of agroecological innovations : the case of Ubaque in the Colombia Highlands
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- Master's theses (IPV) 
Studies on adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations have evolved over time according to the technological transfer paradigms; the linear top-down approaches used during the Green Revolution has led to new participatory and multi-agent perspectives oriented towards sustainable farming practices. Nowadays, more and more authors agree that social interactions are essential factors in the innovation adoption and diffusion process. This research is a sociological study aiming to identify the type of relationships farmers have with other actors that most influence them in their decision process to adopt agroecological practices, and to analyse their communication features. The study was conducted in a municipality close to Bogotá with vegetable growers, potential targets for a technology transfer project run by a research group of the National University of Colombia aiming to reduce the use of agrochemicals among growers. Using snowball sampling, 30 farmers were interviewed using ego-centric network analysis combined with focus group method. Data collected suggested that when farmers are exposed to agroecological innovations, information comes mostly from extension agents and other agricultural professionals who provide also training and with whom they have week ties. These findings coincide with other studies. However, the diffusion of technology among farmers was found low; a lack of social cohesion due to distrust was pointed out as the primary cause. Building up social capital among vegetable growers might be done through flexible and informal associations, such as farmer networks.