Social network analysis of practice adoption facing outbreaks of African Swine Fever

Prev Vet Med. 2020 Jun:179:105008. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105008. Epub 2020 Apr 20.


Animal epizootics show widely destructive effect on livestock value chains in sub Saharan Africa, pushing many smallholders into poverty and discouraging investments. Hence, African swine fever (ASF) has been playing a deeply depressing role on swine value chain of Benin since its first occurrence in the country in 1997. Exchanges between actors are fundamental among stakeholders for the overall performance of a value chain and is key in the way these can respond to challenges, as epizootic threats. The present study describes how stakeholders of the swine value chain interact in the diffusion of innovative practices facing an outbreak of ASF. In seven districts, focus groups were first organized with stakeholders to identify changes and other reactions that ensued from a recent ASF outbreak in Benin. In a second step, individual semi-structured interviews were conducted, following a respondent-driven sampling, to collect the contact information needed for social network analysis. The influence of actors' characteristics on their degree centrality was tested through multiple linear regression model. Regulatory requirements and available incomes facilitated practice diffusion among groups of pork butchers, traders/brokers and input suppliers. Stockbreeders displayed passivity in the diffusion of practices whereas they should have the forefront role in addressing the challenge of ASF. Nevertheless, their significant interest in capacity reinforcement, associations, exchange visits and professionalization may lead them to increase their involvement in a joint control of the disease.

Keywords: African swine fever; Benin; diffusion; innovation; social network; value chain.

MeSH terms

  • African Swine Fever / epidemiology*
  • Animal Husbandry / methods*
  • Animals
  • Benin
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Social Network Analysis*
  • Sus scrofa
  • Swine