Purpose: In this research, we aimed to identify the pattern of cooperative relations among the Pistachio producers in Damankuh rural district in Damghan. The social capital among the producers was also evaluated.
Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, the cooperative relations and the social capital among the Pistachio producers in Mehmandoost, Zarrinabad and Hoseinabad Doolab, which are located in Damankooh in Damghan, were studied by applying social network analysis method. Thus, 66 people from Mehmandoost, 70 producers from Zarrinabad, and 74 farmers from Hosseinabad Dulab were studied. The relations which were studied included cooperation in exchanging farming tools, irrigation of Pistachio orchards, marketing and pest control. For analyzing these relations, we used network- level indicators of social network analysis including density, centralization, reciprocity, transitivity and Geodesic distance. These indicators were analyzed in the UCINET software.
Finding: Results showed that the network macro-level indicators including density, centralization, reciprocity, transitivity and geodesic distance in studied villages were very low. This has caused problems for producers to cooperate with each other and threatens the stability of producers’ network and indicates cooperation among pistachio producers requires tremendous investment of both time and cost.
Research limitations/implications: Problems like accessing farmers, distributing questionnaires among them and the long time needed in order to interview them were among the challenges faced in this research.
Practical implications¬: In order to increase cooperation among the producers and social capital in their network it is suggested that farmers be instructed and informed by holding cooperative workshops, handling their problems in irrigation and pest control, running local cooperatives for supporting the farmers in the crop prices and paying attention to their demands.
Originality/value: Given the importance of the studied area in the production of Pistachio, paying attention to cooperation and social capital among producers, can be a big step in using the fertility (potentiality) of this region to develop and improve the Pistachio production.