This paper examines the differential effects of the agricultural extension service and the information sharing among the peers on the adoption of a new rice variety towards sustainable agriculture, and then, estimates how the adoption contribute to the input and output of rice farming of households in small villages in Central Vietnam. By employing village-census panel data from original household surveys, our investigation shows that, while agricultural extension service motivated farmers to adopt the new rice variety in the initial period, information sharing among the peers facilitated further adoption in the following period. After an early boost from agricultural extension services, adoption largely took place through social learning among the peers. Social networks of the wives had a greater influence on new rice variety adoption than those of the husbands. By applying the combination of the difference-in-differences method and propensity score weighted regression, our results show that the new rice variety adoption improved productivity and reduced pesticide use. This paper reveals the benefits of the combination of information acquisition from agricultural extension and peers as effective pathways to disseminate environment-friendly agricultural practices in rural Central Vietnam.
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