Sociology Mind
2012. Vol.2, No.2, 169-176
Published Online April 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 169
Seed and Information Exchange through Social Networks: The
Case of Rice Farmers of Indonesia and Lao PDR
Gerlie Tatlonghari1*, Thelma Paris1, Valerien Pede1, Inpong Siliphouthone2, Rita Suhaeti3
1International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Metro Manila, The Philippines
2National Rice Research Programme, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute, Vientiane, Lao PDR
3Indonesian Center for Agro-Socio-Economic Analysis and Policy Studies, Indonesian Agency for Agricultural
Research and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Jakarta, Indonesia
Email: *
Received December 7th, 2011; revised January 8th, 2012; accepted February 9th, 2012
The study investigates the structure of information exchange among men and women farmers who were
involved in participatory varietal selection (PVS) on submergence-tolerant varieties in pilot communities
in Lao PDR and Indonesia. The paper shows that network relationships influence the dissemination of
new information on seed. In their decisions to adopt new rice varieties, farmers are strongly influenced by
their kin and friends. The study also investigated social networks by gender in order to gain greater in-
sights into how gender inequalities influence the effectiveness of social capital through social networks.
Results show that information opportunities of men and women vary in terms of exposure to and control
of information. These differences are mainly influenced by their social and cultural setting in rice farming
systems and communities. The paper shows that gender should be accounted for when investigating the
determinants of social networks. Factors affecting social networks differ by gender, and also across coun-
tries. For instance, older males in Indonesia tend to have larger social networks. Women who belong to
large farming households tend to have bigger social networks. Generally, having more relatives is a good
opportunity to increase social networks for males and females.
Keywords: Gender; Participatory Varietal Selection; Social Network Analysis
Increasing rice production to ensure food security and in-
crease incomes, especially in unfavorable rice areas, has been a
growing concern of international and national agricultural re-
search and extension systems (NARES) in Asia. For many
years, scientists have been developing improved rice varieties
and associated crop and resource management technologies for
drought-, submergence-, and salt-affected rice areas. However,
despite the availability of these technologies, much remains to
be done in disseminating them to millions of poor rice farming
communities in Asia. Technologies, particularly seeds of im-
proved rice varieties, are disseminated through formal and in-
formal channels such as social networks. Studies have shown
that among poor rice farmers the diffusion of technology and
adoption start in interpersonal network exchanges and social
influences within the community as technology is passed on
from one individual to another. However, understanding of
these processes, particularly social networking, is often ne-
glected and remains a gap related to socio-cultural determinants
of technology adoption.
Past research clearly shows the role that social networks play
in agricultural technology adoption. For instance, in Indonesia,
Case (1992) states that rice farmers’ decisions to adopt the use
of a sickle is dependent upon neighboring farmers’ success with
using the sickle. Palis (2002) showed that the efficient use of
existing social capital among farmers in a village led to the fast,
sustained, and widespread use of integrated pest management
(IPM). Again in Mozambique, Bandiera and Rasul (2006) re-
veal that sunflower farmers’ adoption decisions are correlated
to the choices of their network of family and friends. Most re-
cently in Ghana, Conley and Udry (2010) discovered that pine-
apple farmers adjust their inputs to align with those of their
neighbors who were successful in previous periods. Matuschke
and Quaim (2007) analyzed the impact of social networks on
the adoption of hybrid wheat in India and concluded that the
results from a social network study could also provide exten-
sion agencies and agents with a new set of diagnostic tools that
could fit well with the new extension emphasis on participatory
and demand-driven extension approaches. However, research
on the role of social networking in seed and information ex-
change on stress-tolerant rice varieties among rice farming
households/individuals and also through a gender perspective is
scant. By gaining awareness of existing information on exchange
routes, information providers can act on information opportuni-
ties and make changes to information routes to improve the
delivery of information services (Haythornthwaite, 1996). It is
now increasingly recognized that information on agricultural
innovations diffuses through social networks rather than being
freely available in the village. We adhere to this view in study-
ing the role that social capital may play in facilitating informa-
tion exchange among rural households. Moreover, the roles of
other end users of technologies, especially poor women farmers
and their potential roles as key agents of change, can be tapped
to accelerate the dissemination of rice and rice-related technologies.
In 2009, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in
collaboration with national agricultural research and extension
*Corresponding author.
systems (NARES) initiated the project “Development and dis-
semination of submergence-tolerant varieties” in six Southeast
Asian countries frequently affected by typhoons and severely
affected by floods, namely, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, the
Philippines, Indonesia, and Lao PDR. Within this project, a
case study on “Seed and information exchange through social
networks among men and women rice farmers” was conducted.
This case study explored and compared the structure of infor-
mation exchange among men and women farmers who were
involved in PVS on submergence-tolerant varieties in pilot
communities in Lao PDR and Indonesia. The study also inves-
tigated social networks by gender in order to gain greater in-
sights into how gender differences influence the effectiveness
of social capital in facilitating information exchange. In par-
ticular, this study examined the factors that affect the intensity
of acquired social networks at the household level, while ac-
counting for gender differentiation. Of interest to the study is
whether these identified factors are the same for men and women.
Social Networks and Gender
Social concepts such as social networks and social capital
have received a lot of interest when exploring the potential
contribution of personal relationships in technology uptake.
Social capital is deemed as important as other forms of capital
such as financial, human, or natural. Networks facilitate com-
munication, coordination, and the provision of information on
the trustworthiness of individuals. Social networks can serve as
a form of social capital—an important intangible component of
individuals’ and households’ asset portfolios.
Gender analysis in Asian rice farming reveals that women in
Southeast Asia contribute significantly in rice production and
postharvest operations. Although labor participation in rice pro-
duction varies by country, production systems, and other factors,
women contribute about 46% and 60% in Indonesia and Laos,
respectively (Paris, 2009). In Laos, women took over the tradi-
tional roles of men in rice farming, in which more than half of
the rice farming activities such as transplanting, weeding, har-
vesting, and postharvest are dominated by women (Choula-
many-Khamphoui, 2002). Similarly in Indonesia, women do
most of the transplanting, weeding, and harvesting work (Sa-
jogyo, 1985). Thus, women are seen to have a crucial role in
shaping the rice economy of Laos and Indonesia.
Moreover, women do not just contribute to the physical as-
sets of production but more importantly they seek new informa-
tion and technology. Past studies in Nepal and other countries
revealed that women are active seekers of information (Subedi
& Garforth, 1996). Due to gender differences in roles and needs,
men and women have differences in their selection criteria for
rice varieties in the specific submergence prone areas (Paris et
al., 2011). Although returns to men’s and women’s social capi-
tal may be identical, the responsiveness of household welfare to
women’s social capital is higher (Maluccio et al., 2003; Mein-
zen-Dick & Zwarteveen, 2003). Rural women usually have less
access than men to information and new technologies (FAO,
1997; Greenberg & Okani, 2001; Mugniesyah, 2002; Hang Thi
& Van An, 2006; Katungi et al., 2006). They suffer from lim-
ited access to resources, markets, training, and decision-making
opportunities. As a result, women seek formal and informal
networks to cope with the shocks and to make sure that their
views are represented, particularly if formal rules limit their
participation (Meinzen-Dick & Zwarteveen, 2003). Their lack
of access to information and formal networks deprives them of
their potential capacity to make informed decisions in effec-
tively managing their farms and selling their farm products.
Methodology and Estimation Procedures
Identifying the role of social networks and the factors affect-
ing them has been investigated in the literature under various
methods. This type of research is placed under the umbrella of
social network analysis (SNA). The recent literature on social
network analysis supports evidence that social networks play a
crucial role in information and innovation dissemination. Hence,
knowing more about networks and their role will be beneficial
for policy formulation.
When an individual decides to join a network, he/she has an
expected utility that depends on some of his/her socioeconomic
characteristics. This expected utility is assumed to be positive,
which motivates individuals to join a network. Each individual
has the choice of being connected to one, two, three, and more
relatives or friends who constitute his/her “acquired social net-
work.” The intensity of the acquired network is therefore rep-
resented by a series of discrete household choices that could
follow a Poisson or negative binomial distribution.
Following Katungi et al. (2007) in a similar study, we con-
sider that the intensity of acquired social networks can be mod-
eled as a series of discrete household decisions that sum across
an aggregation of choices to a Poisson or negative binomial
distribution. While the Poisson distribution assumes equality
between the conditional mean and variance, the negative bino-
mial is more suited to data exhibiting over-dispersion. The
probability mass function of a Poisson distribution is given as:
λλ; 0,1,; 0λ
PX xZx
  (1)
where λ is the mean parameter that is also equal to the variance,
and Z a vector of covariates. The probability distribution of the
negative binomial is given as:
 
λΓ 1Γλ
0,1,; θ0, 0
PX xZrxrr
 
 
 
 
where Г represents the gamma function, λ is the mean parame-
ter and the variance is expressed, and λ + λ2/r with r is the dis-
persion parameter. For large values of r (maintaining, λ fixed),
the negative binomial converges to a Poisson distribution. The
negative binomial regression can be seen as an extension of the
Poisson regression that accounts for over-dispersion in the data.
The choice between the Poisson regression and negative bino-
mial regression is based on the test on the over-dispersion pa-
rameter. Alternatively, it is possible to estimate both models
and perform a likelihood ratio test to decide on the model that
best fits the data.
We start our estimation with a pooled regression in which
data for the two countries (Indonesia and Laos) are pooled to-
gether. A country dummy is used to capture country-specific
differences. Next, we estimate the model for the sample of
males and females. Finally, we estimate the model for each
country individually, and also for the sample of males and fe-
males. In this regression analysis, the dependent variable is the
social network (measured in terms of number of trusted friends
to whom the household can talk closely or approach for any
problem) while the hypothesized factors that influence social
networks are gender of the respondent, age, years in school,
household size, area cultivated, number of relatives, member-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
ship in organizations, and access to extension services and so-
cial institutions in the village.
Data and Variables Used in the Econometric
This SNA study uses cross-sectional data gathered through
focused household surveys of rice farming households involved
in the PVS trials under the project “Dissemination of submer-
gence-tolerant rice varieties in Southeast Asia” implemented by
IRRI in 2009. Data were collected by social scientists from
farmer-cooperators in Indonesia (101) and Lao PDR (95) who
were also cooperators of PVS at key sites. These key sites are
located in the province of West Java, Indonesia, and in the
provinces of Khammouane and Champassak in Laos.
Social capital is formed by participating in an organization or
investing in social networks or both. In this particular study,
accumulation of social capital through social networks received
much attention as most of the seed and information exchange in
studied areas are produced in an informal mode. To measure
the intensity of participation in social networks of the farmers,
the dependent variable is defined as the number of trusted friends
to whom the household can talk closely or approach for any
problem. This definition of a social network excludes relatives
because they constitute a “given social capital whose formation
may be beyond the influence of the decision maker” (Wintrobe,
1995 cited in Katungi et al., 2007). Instead, the number of rela-
tives of a farmer in the village was included as an independent
variable to serve as a proxy for social capital endowment.
Household characteristics such as age, gender, education, and
household size are factors that might affect farmers’ social
networking behavior.
Social Networks and Gender Analysis
This study was conducted in submergence-prone rice villages
in Khammouane and Champassak provinces in Lao PDR and in
West Java and South Sumatra in Indonesia. These villages or
key sites suffer from major environmental stresses that lead to
crop loss. Flooding was one of the major stresses experienced
in their rice farming (Manzanilla et al., 2011). However, sub-
mergence was experienced on varying occasions and in varying
severity. During the wet season of 2009 when the study was
conducted, 94% of the farmers in Indonesia experienced flood-
ing. In Lao PDR, 57% of the farmers experienced flooding in
different stages of rice growth. Flooding was experienced
mostly in the vegetative phase, particularly at the tillering stage
right after transplanting. Some farmers experienced flooding at
varying stages, while others experienced it as early as the seed-
ling stage and in others’ plots flooding occurred during the
ripening stage. Submergence occurred normally for 6 - 8 days
in Indonesia and Lao PDR. Lao farmers experienced the deep-
est flooding, with an average depth of 134 cm (Table 1).
Area cultivated. Farmers in Indonesia and Lao PDR cultivate
an average of 1.3 and 1.14 hectares, respectively. In Indonesia,
all the rice plots are located in lowlands. In Lao PDR, 68% are
located in lowlands and the rest are in midlands. A higher pro-
portion of Indonesian farmers have more access to irrigation
during the dry and wet seasons. Some farmers (41%) have ac-
cess to assured irrigation during the wet season. In Lao PDR,
on the other hand, 99% are heavily dependent on rain during
the wet season. In terms of crop establishment, farmers in In-
donesia and Lao PDR use the transplanting method. Only 5% in
Table 1.
Submergence conditions of farmers’ plots under a farmer-managed trial
in Indonesia and Lao PDR, wet season, 2009.
Flooding duration Indonesia
(n = 101) Laos
(n = 95)
Farmers experience flooding (%) 94 57
Phase of rice growth (%)*
Vegetative phase 94 48
Reproductive phase 96 35
Ripening phase 0 20
Average days of flooding duration 8 6
Average depth of standing water (cm) 79 134
*There are multiple responses.
Lao PDR opt for direct seeding as a strategy when rains do not
come on time.
Varieties grown. Varieties planted in farmers’ fields are very
diverse and some farmers plants 2 - 3 varieties in their plots. A
higher proportion of farmers in Indonesia and Lao PDR, 81%
and 68%, respectively, grow high-yielding varieties. However,
some farmers in Lao PDR (17%) still use traditional varieties
such as Sanpatong, Inthala, and Dor rice, which are used for
special products such as rice cakes. In Indonesia, 29% of the
farmer-cooperators grow submergence-tolerant rice varieties
such as INPARA 3 (IR70213-9-CPA-12-UBN 2-1-3-1), IR64-
Sub1 (IR07F102), and Swarna-Sub1 (IR05F101). A lower pro-
portion (2%) of Lao farmers planted different sets of submer-
gence-tolerant varieties such as IR66876-11-NDR-1-1-1-1, PSBRc
68 (IRRI 119), and TDK1-Sub1 (IR07F289). These farmers re-
ceived submergence-tolerant seeds through the PVS trials of the
project (Table 2).
Household size, age, education, and gender. The sample
households surveyed have a larger household size in Lao PDR
(7) than in Indonesia (5). Women are generally younger than
men. The majority (75%) of households in Indonesia belong to
the Jawa Reyang group, followed by Javanese and Sundanese
ethnic groups. In Lao PDR, farmers belong equally to Lao Lum
and Phouthai groups. Male farmers in both countries are 49 - 50
years old. There is wide disparity in access to education between
Table 2.
General characteristics of the farming systems in Indonesia and Lao
PDR, wet season, 2009.
Farm characteristics Indonesia
(n = 101) Lao PDR
(n = 95)
Rice area (ha) 1.30 1.14
Land type (%)
Lowland 100 68
Midland 0 32
Field type
Irrigated 57 1
Partially irrigated 41 0
Rainfed 2 99
Method of establishment
Direct seeding 0 5
Transplanting 100 95
Rice variety (2008-2009) (%)
Traditional 3 17
HYV 68 81
Submergence-tolerant 29 2
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 171
men and women. Although men have an average of seven years
in school, women have only four years. Men and women have
more farming experience in Lao PDR (24 to 28 years) than in
Indonesia (19 to 22 years). A high proportion (91%) of the
farmer respondents in Lao PDR own their own lands. In con-
trast, 43% of the farmer respondents in Indonesia are still ten-
ants (Table 3).
Size of social networks. The size of social networks and fre-
quency of engaging in different kinds of information exchange
and village activities largely influence the social capital of an
individual. Social capital among men and women varies for the
two countries as the accumulation of social capital is also dic-
tated by gender roles and culture for each country. As shown in
Table 4, social networking and information exchange in Indo-
nesia and Lao PDR are done mostly with friends within the
village, where male farmers for both countries have a larger
social network than female farmers. Lao men and women also
rely heavily on their relatives within the villages. The number
of relatives and friends of the farmers outside the village are
generally higher in Indonesia than in Lao PDR, especially
among women. These results reveal that male farmers are more
mobile than female farmers in Indonesia. Because of customs,
Indonesian women farmers do mostly reproductive activities,
Table 3.
Socioeconomic profile of farmer respondents in Indonesia and Lao PDR,
wet season, 2009.
Characteristics Indonesia
(n = 101) Lao PDR
(n = 95)
Household size 5 7
Respondents (%)
Male only 54 54
Female only 46 27
Both 0 19
Age (years)
Males 50 49
Females 48 44
Ethnic group (%)
Javanese 17 0
Sundanese 8 0
Jawa Reang 75 0
Lao Lum 0 50
Phouthai 0 50
Educational level (years in school)
Males 7 7
Females 4 4
Farming experience (years in farming)
Males 22 28
Females 19 24
Tenure status (%)
Not owned 43 9
Owned 57 91
Table 4.
Social capital indicators by gender in Indonesia and Lao PDR, 2009.
Indonesia Lao PDR
Males Females MalesFemales
Social network
(n = 55) (n = 46) (n = 39)(n = 33)
Strong ties
Number of relatives within the
village (average) 4 5 11 10
Number of friends within the
village (average) 12 6 15 12
Weak ties
Number of relatives outside
the village (average) 3 1 5 7
Number of friends outside the
village (average) 10 2 6 8
which limit them in having contact with other people outside
their village. In contrast, in Lao PDR, there seem to be no diffe-
rences between males and females in terms of mobility.
Seed information exchange. During the survey interviews,
male and female farmers were also asked about their seed in-
formation exchange. In Indonesia, both men and women farm-
ers rely on their friends and neighbors within the village for
seed information. Male farmers also mentioned co-farmers within
the village, extension agents, and formal groups as their other
main sources of information. None of the male Indonesian
farmers received any information from their wives. Eleven
percent of the female farmers mentioned their spouses as addi-
tional sources of information (Table 5).
Membership in formal organizations. Most of the farmers in
Indonesia and Lao PDR belong to a formal group. Women are
surprisingly actively involved in organizations, which are
mainly farmers’ organizations, credit groups, and women’s groups.
This means that women are now recognized as part of the
workforce in the community. However, trends in civic engage-
ment still show that few women are privileged to have access to
different sources of information such as newspapers, printed
publications, agricultural programs on radio and television,
attendance at training events or seminars, and communication
with extension agents. In some civic activities such as the use
of modern technology such as the Internet and cellular phones,
women in Lao PDR more frequently use them than men. How-
ever, it is important to note that these women are few in number
and are mainly female household heads and wives of village
leaders who have somewhat the same access as men farmers.
Involvement in social activities. Involvement in social activi-
ties of men and women farmers is still based on gender roles.
Indonesian male farmers are expected to be in their mosque
more frequently than women. In Lao PDR, where women are
expected to give alms to the monks and offer prayers, women
are seen in their temples more frequently (71 times in a year)
than men. Moreover, since market places are where the house-
holds sell and buy food and other items, more women are seen
in these places than men. Women’s role within the households
consumes most of their time; thus, they do not have much time
compared with men to go to hang around places to chat and
drink with their friends and neighbors after work. Also, more
men attend village meetings as they are traditionally the deci-
sion-makers in their households and in their communities, par-
ticularly in Indonesia; whereas, in Lao PDR, both men and
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Table 5.
Major sources of information about new varieties for stress-prone environ-
ments by gender in Indonesia and Lao PDR, 2009 (percentage of responses).
Indonesia Lao PDR
Males Females MalesFemales
Sources of information
(n = 55) (n = 46) (n = 39)(n = 33)
Informal source
Spouse (husband/wife) 0 11 3 12
Member of the household 2 3 5 3
Relatives within the village 9 21 3 6
Friends and neighbors within the
village 22 20 21 18
Relatives outside the village 2 0 3 3
Friends outside the village 1 2 0 3
Co-farmers within the village 11 13 3 3
Co-farmers outside the village 2 2 0 0
Informal groups 4 3 0 0
Village leaders 6 3 36 45
Dealers/traders 1 3 41 27
Others 1 0 0 0
Formal source
Formal groups/associations 12 10 0 0
Research institutions 7 5 26 18
Government agencies 1 0 3 0
Agents/extension officers 17 2 0 0
Community or local newspaper 1 2 3 0
Publications (leaflets, posters) 1 0 0 0
Radio 0 0 3 0
Television 2 0 0 0
women farmers have the privilege to attend village meetings
(Table 6).
Flow of information. Aside from sources of information,
farmers were also asked whether they were passing along the
information they received about new varieties. Male and female
farmers from both countries usually pass along the information
they receive to their friends and neighbors within the village
with whom they can regularly talk because of their proximity to
one another. In Indonesia, where women are more constrained
to their houses to do more reproductive activities, the informa-
tion they receive is passed along only to the members of their
households, friends, and neighbors within the village. Lao wo-
men farmers, who are permitted to be more involved in farming,
do not just pass along the information they receive to their
household members but they also actively pass it along to their
friends and neighbors within (82%) and outside (11%) their
villages. These results can lead to some conclusions that wo-
men can be as active as men farmers in information exchange if
they are given the opportunity to be educated and trained (Ta-
ble 7).
Table 6.
Source of seed information exchange.
Indonesia Lao PDR
Males Females MalesFemales
Sources of information
(n = 55) (n = 46) (n = 39)(n = 33)
Membership in o rganizati on (%)92 67 58 81
Civic engagement
(frequenc y in a year)
Read a newspaper 58 0 28 11
Read publications (agricultural
magazines, posters, leaflets) 14 1 28 37
Listened to agricultural program on
the radio 63 35 102 54
Watched television 63 29 87 67
Used Internet to know more about
agricultural programs 0 0 13 42
Used cellular phone to talk about
rice farming 37 1 10 28
Participated in seminars/training
activities 2 3 15 6
Participated in field experiments
(PVS, demos) (%) 2 2 1 1
Communicated with extension agents32 5 12 6
Frequency of participation in
social activity in a year
Weddings/celebration 22 30 15 9
Places of worship
(churches, mosques) 342 133 40 71
Funerals 18 6 11 7
Festivals 5 11 16 10
Market places 63 105 43 54
Hang-around places
(for storytelling, drinking, etc.) 116 0 36 17
General village meetings 16 2 20 21
Table 7.
Individual and groups to whom information was related by the information
receiver by gender in Indonesia and Lao PDR, 2009 (percentage of re-
Indonesia Lao PDR
Males Females MalesFemales
Sources of information
(n = 55) (n = 46) (n = 39)(n = 33)
Household me mber
Spouse (husband/wife) 8 16 9 5
Member of the household 3 4 16 21
Co-farmers within the village9 4 2 0
Co-farmers outside the village4 2 0 0
Friends and neighbors
Friends and neighbors within the
village 55 42 95 82
Friends and neighbors outside the
village 1 0 7 11
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 173
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Factors Influencing Acquired Social Capital
Table 8 shows the factors that influence the intensity of ac-
quired social capital based on regression analysis. The first set
of columns labeled “pooled” shows the estimation results when
data from the two countries are pooled together. The next two
sets of columns show estimations for Laos and Indonesia, re-
spectively. In all estimations, the likelihood ratio test on the
null hypothesis that all coefficients are equal to zero is highly
significant, supporting that the included variables globally in-
fluence the size of social networks. The likelihood ratio test on
the over-dispersion parameter r is also significant, indicating
that the negative binomial regression approach fits the data
better than the Poisson regression. The gender variable is sig-
nificant in the pooled regression, indicating that men tend to
have a larger social network on average than women. These
findings are similar to those of Katungi (2006) and Katungi et
al. (2006), who found that social capital is a key factor in in-
formation exchange and that, compared with women, men gen-
erally have better access to social capital and consequently to
information on innovations. The gender variable, though, was
not found to be significant in Lao PDR. However, in Indonesia,
it is highly significant and the magnitude of the coefficient is
about twice that of the pooled regression. Age appears to have a
Table 8.
Negative binomial regression of the factors affecting the size of social networks of farmer cooperators by gender in Indonesia and Lao PDR, wet season, 2009.
Pooled Laos Indonesia
All Male Female All Male Female All Male Female
(n = 194) (n = 98) (n = 96) (n = 95) (n = 43)(n = 52) (n = 99) (n = 55) (n = 44)
Constant 1.1005*** 1.2112*** 1.6453** 2.6580*** 2.5451*** 2.2940*** 0.2631*** 0.2837 0.8713
(0.4056) (0.4992) (0.7268) (0.4690) (0.6196)(0.7792) (0.6643) (0.6863) (1.4417)
Gender 0.5105*** 0.0489 1.1206***
(0.1503) (0.1656) (0.2613)
Age 0.0055 0.0152** –0.0129 0.0064 0.0064 0.0228 0.0074 0.0258*** –0.0152
(0.0066) (0.0072) (0.0123) (0.0082) (0.0090)(0.0158) (0.0098) (0.0096) (0.0201)
0.0186 0.0289 –0.0403 –0.0069 –0.00010.0296 0.0154 0.0220 –0.0183
Years in school
(0.0207) (0.0229) (0.0440) (0.0224) (0.0282)(0.0420) (0.0365) (0.0313) (0.1297)
–0.0441 –0.0588 0.0084 –0.0366 –0.0372–0.0621 –0.0144 –0.0440 0.0125
Household size
(0.0305) (0.0362) (0.0502) (0.0298) (0.0384)(0.0447) (0.0617) (0.0597) (0.1209)
0.0871** –0.0556 0.1303** –0.0793 –0.13050.1410 0.1204** –0.0525 0.1186
Area cultivated
(0.0374) (0.0705) (0.0543) (0.0920) (0.1129)(0.1458) (0.0471) (0.0950) (0.0970)
Number of relatives 0.0390*** 0.0326*** 0.0534*** 0.0307*** 0.0275*** 0.0355*** 0.0812*** 0.0359** 0.1067**
(0.0065) (0.0068) (0.0126) (0.0052) (0.0068)(0.0083) (0.0213) (0.0192) (0.0388)
0.0210 0.2497** –0.1271 –0.3801** –0.3211** –0.5017** 0.0605 0.7330*** –0.0842
Membership in organizations
(0.0908) (0.1329) (0.1113) (0.1538) (0.1725)(0.2705) (0.1232) (0.1791) (0.1672)
Involvement in social
activities 0.0021 0.0083 0.0061 0.0007 0.0238*** –0.0877***0.0012 –0.0006 0.0465
(0.0081) (0.0078) (0.0222) (0.0125) (0.0144)(0.0282) (0.0114) (0.0087) (0.0404)
Extension 0.0034 0.0001 0.0124 0.0151** 0.0114** 0.0202** –0.0001 –0.0045* –0.0973
(0.0022) (0.0020) (0.0114) (0.0070) (0.0122)(0.0087) (0.0026) (0.0022) (0.1156)
Country dummy 0.0066*** 0.5594*** 0.9335***
(0.1653) (0.2063) (0.2699)
Diagnostic tests
LR test all coefficients = 0
[Prob chi sq] 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0510
alpha 0.6803 0.4554 0.8430 0.3726 0.2887 0.3514 0.9111 0.4190 1.7286
(0.0824) (0.0712) (0.1698) (0.0602) (0.0655)(0.0868) (0.1709) (0.0999) (0.5606)
LR test alpha = 0
[Prob chi sq(1)] 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000
Pseudo R2 0.0737 0.0708 0.0958 0.0794 0.0968 0.0951 0.0726 0.0820 0.0734
Notes: Standard errors of parameter estimates are in parentheses. Significance at the 1%, 5%, and 10% level is signaled by ***, **, and *, respectively.
significant influence on social networks, at least for Indonesian
males. The older males of this country tend to have a larger
social network. The size of the area cultivated has a significant
influence on social networks in the pooled regression and it was
observed that women who belong to large farming households
tend to have a larger social network. Country-wise regression
analyses reveal that, in Indonesia, only area cultivated shows a
significant effect on social networks. In all models, the number
of relatives has a significant influence on social networks. Since
relatives represent the initial endowment of social capital, this
sort of result is expected. Although membership in organiza-
tions reduces the size of social networks in Laos, it has a posi-
tive effect for Indonesian males, who increase their social net-
works by joining organizations. Given that the variable “mem-
bership in organizations” does not capture the level of partici-
pation of individuals in an organization, the negative effect
observed in Lao PDR could be because individuals are mem-
bers of these organizations with no active involvement and this
does not allow them to increase their social networks. Social
skills contribute to increasing significantly the social networks
of males in Lao PDR but have a reverse effect for females. In
Lao PDR, males participate more than females in market places,
festivals, drinking clubs, and village activities. For Laos in
general, as well as the male and female samples, contact with
an extension service contributes to increasing significantly the
intensity of social networks. In general, households in Indone-
sia tend to have a larger social network that their Lao counter-
parts. This is also true when sample of males and females are
Conclusions and Implications for Technology
This study investigated the structure of information exchange
among men and women farmers who were involved in PVS on
submergence-tolerant varieties in Lao PDR and Indonesia.
More specifically, this study assessed whether there is a differ-
ence in information exchange among men and women farmers
when it comes to acquiring information about seed technology.
Results indicate that the spread of seeds and knowledge on
submergence-tolerant rice varieties can be enhanced by tapping
existing social networks of men and women farmers. Regres-
sion analysis revealed that the hypothesized variables globally
influence the size of social networks. The gender variable is
significant in the pooled regression, indicating that men tend to
have a larger social network on average than women. The gen-
der variable was not found to be significant in Lao PDR, but in
Indonesia it was highly significant and the magnitude of the
coefficient was about twice that of the pooled regression.
Moreover, it is observed that older males in Indonesia tend to
have larger social networks. The same effect is noticed with
area cultivated in Indonesia. Having more relatives increases
social networks for both males and females. Overall, gender
plays an important role in determining the factors that affect
social networks. This paper provides evidence that the factors
affecting social networks are not the same for males and fe-
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