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The role of social capital on farmers’ welfare in paddy granary areas

Empirical results from a study on social capital were based on a survey of 60 household heads from six villages in Kuala Selangor, Malaysia. The study found that structural social capital shows clear impacts on farmers’ welfare, either positive or negative, while the influence of cognitive social capital is vague. As expected, farmers’ welfare was also influenced by human capital and other household’s characteristics. Based on the coefficient of the social capital variables generated from the analyses, its impact on farmers’ welfare and community development in Malaysia was minimal, at least under the present development policies. On the other hand, human capital variable, such as years of formal education, contributed positively to productivity as well as the health status of farmers. This study also revealed that an increase of one hectare in land size (owned and rented) will swell household monthly per capita spending by RM125. An increase in per capita household expenditure indicates better farmers’ quality of life. Thus, increasing the farmland area, possibly by renting can improve their overall living standards.

 
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