*Roza Yulida, Rosnita, Yulia Andriani & Muhammad Ikhwan
The Riau province is one of the largest rubber manufacturers in Indonesia. Ten percent of Indonesia’s rubber comes from Riau, and of this, 82.64% comes from community rubber plantations. The main problems experienced by rubber farmers are low-quality rubber, stiff competition for rubber products, and its low price. There are several models used by farmers for marketing: the conventional system, auctions and auctions via associations. The right communication channel/network is important because it provides information to farmers about rubber price and quality for efficient marketing. To analyze the communication network used in the auction system, this study interviewed 127 respondents from two districts in Riau: Kuantan Singingi and Kampar. Findings show that 95% of the farmers come from the productive age group, are high-school leavers and have 1–32 years’ farming experience. The cosmopolite level is medium with an average score of 1.81 while 72% farmers have access to 1-2 media, used 4-7 times a month for 0-60 minutes on average in a week. Auctions via associations take the form of a radial personal network, where information flow is open and widespread. Whereas the conventional system and auctions via farmer groups form an interlocking personal network model, where information is often centralized and only reaches a limited number of people in the network.
Keywords: communication network, rubber farmers, rubber farmer association, auction marketing system, conventional marketing system