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Group Title: Networking paper - Farming Systems Support Project - 10
Title: A methodology for conducting reconnaissance surveys in Africa
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054784/00001
 Material Information
Title: A methodology for conducting reconnaissance surveys in Africa
Series Title: Networking paper
Physical Description: 21 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Frankenberger, Timothy R
Lichte, John L
Publisher: Farming Systems Support Project
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: [1985]
Subject: Agricultural surveys -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Agricultural systems -- Research -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 12.
Statement of Responsibility: by Timothy R. Frankenberger and John L. Lichte.
General Note: "October 1985."
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00054784
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 20827498
lccn - 88620491

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Full Text


Farming Systems Support Project

International Programs
Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Office of Agriculture and
Office of Multisectoral Development
Bureau for Science and Technology
Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523

Networking Paper #10

__ ~

,"2.-2 '3 -


Networking Paper #10



Timothy R. Frankenberger
University of Kentucky
Dept. of Sociology
S205 Ag. Science North
Lexington, Ky 40546


John L. Lichte
38 Walmar Dr.
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin 53590

October 1985

Networking Papers are intended to inform colleagues about farming
systems research and extension work in progress, and to facilitate the
timely distribution of information of interest to farming systems
practitioners throughout the world. The series is also intended to invite
response from the farming systems network to help advance FSR/E knowledge.
Carments, suggestions and differing points of view are invited by the
author or authors. Names and addresses of the author or authors are given
on the title page of each Networking Paper.

Networking Papers do not necessarily present the viewpoints or opinions
of the FSSP or its affiliates. Readers wishing to submit materials to be
considered for inclusion in the Networking Paper series are encouraged to
send typewritten, single-spaced manuscript, ready for publication. The
FSSP does not edit Networking Papers, but simply reproduces the author's
work and distributes it to a targeted audience. Distribution is determined
by geography and subject matter considerations to select a sub-group fran
the FSSP mailing list to receive each Networking Paper.


Reconnaissance surveys (informal surveys, rapid rural

appraisals, sondeos, etc.) are quick, informal, cost-effective

surveys that attempt to characterize the farming systems found

within a region. These surveys are usually implemented at the

beginning of an FSR project to rapidly familiarize researchers

with the key constraints facing farmers within a target area.

Five distinguishing attributes of such surveys have been

identified by Steven Franzel (1984). These included:

1) "Farmer interviews are conducted by researchers
themselves, not by enumerators, as in formal surveys"
(Franzel, 1984:2).

2) "Interviews are essentially unstructured and semi-
directed, with emphasis on dialogue and probing for
information. Questionnaires are never used; however,
some researchers use topical guidelines so as to ensure
that they cover all relevant topics on a given subject"
(Franzel, 184:3).*

3) "Informal random and purposive sampling procedures are
used instead of formal random sampling from a sample
frame" (Franzel, 1984:3)

4) "The data collection process is dynamic, that is,
researchers evaluate the data collected and reformulate
data needs on a daily basis." (Franzel, 1984:3), (See
Honadle, 1982).

5) "Informal surveys are generally conducted over a period
of one week to two months during the growing season"
(Franzel, 1984:3).

Recently, the role of the reconnaissance survey in farming

systems research has increased in importance relative to the

formal survey (Franzel, 1984:3). According to Franzel (1984),

this trend can be attributed to the advantages the informal

There is a difference of opinion as to whether topical
outlines should be used. See Hildebrand, 1981 and Collinson,

survey provides in diagnosing farming systems, such as: "1) the

low cost and rapid turnaround **; 2) the emphasis placed on

direct researcher-farmer teamwork; 3) its sequential, iterative

data collection procedure in which data are evaluated and data

needs are reformulated on a daily basis; 4) it facilitates

interdisciplinary interaction; and 5) its conduciveness to

collection of data concerning farmers values, opinions and

objectives" (Franzel, 1984:3).

Despite these advantages, reconnaissance surveys do have

some shortcomings. First, researchers cannot be certain that

farmers interviewed in the survey are representative of most

farmers in the region (Franzel, 1984:4). This is due to the way

farmers are selected for interviews. Thus, statistical testing

is not usually possible (Shaner, Philipp, and Schmehl, 1982).

Second, such surveys may not be sufficiently focused to determine

the relative importance of factors limiting production

opportunities for farmers. Therefore other diagnostic procedures

may be required to verify and fine-tune hypotheses generated by

informal surveys. For instance, confusing and diff-icult to

interpret aspects of the existing system may be investigated

through the use of more focused, topic-specific formal surveys.

In spite of these limitations, reconnaissance surveys have

come to play a critical role in the diagnostic phase of farming

systems research. Therefore, it is essential that the

methodology for conducting such surveys continues to be developed

** See the table comparing variable costs in Appendix B.

and fine-tuned as experience with the technique accumulates. The

purpose of this paper is to outline a stepwise procedure for

conducting such surveys which was implemented by the authors in a

recent study in Liberia (Frankenberger, Lichte, Gedeo, Jallah

and Sherman, 1984). This procedure should be viewed as a

complementary alternative to informal survey procedures

previously described in the literature (See Hildebrand, 1981;

Rhoades, 1982; Collinson, 1982).

This methodology will be presented as a series of important

considerations which the FSR team should address prior to, during

and after the reconnaissance survey is conducted. The ultimate

response to each consideration will be variable and highly

dependent upon the circumstances and setting in which the study

is conducted. These considerations are presented in an outline

format beginning with the major objectives of the study.


1. Determine khhat are tbg Objectives Qf the Study -- This
should be done in collaboration with all participating
organizations. and institutions involved or directly
affected by the research. This step helps insure that all
groups involved understand the goals of the research and
that information which is given high priority is collected
by the team. Unfortunately, if several organizations and
institutions are involved, reaching consensus regarding
the objectives will be more difficult. -The following list
consists of some of the possible organizations and
institutions whose input might be sought in deriving

A) Collaborating institutions (universities, consulting
firms, etc.)

B) AID Washington

C) AID Mission

D) In-country Research Organizations

E) Regional Development Organizations

II. Determine KWho Shuld be the Participants in the Diagnostic
Research -- The make-up of a reconnaissance survey team
will vary from one project to another, depending upon the
resources available and context of the research. Useful
considerations for devising such teams are as follows:

A) Minimal Pair -- The minimal pair should consist of at
least one social scientist and one physical/biological

B) Expansion of Team -- Decisions regarding the expansion
of the team should be determined by:

1) Focus of the project -- Is the project being
implemented in a wide geographical area or is it
concentrating on more than one crop/livestock

2) Environmental/socio-economic sitting -- Is the
environmental/socio-economic setting extremely

C) The Maximum Number of Team Members ShDaIld be About Six
-- Six is a good number because it is about all that
can comfortably fit into a landrover or land cruiser.
Given the shortage of project vehicles usually
available for such survey work, one vehicle may be all
that the team can obtain. The team should consist of
an equal distribution of social scientists and
physical/biological scientists. Other important
considerations in putting together a team are:

1) Include female researchers on the team -- Make an
attempt to include at least one or two females on
the team. This could help in situations where
male researchers are not allowed to interview the
females of a household. This is extremely
important in situations where females are
responsible for a considerable proportion of the
farm labor.

2) se local scientists as much as possible -- Teams
should consist of local scientists rather than a
number of expatriates brought in from outside.
The maximum number of expatriates on a team should
be about two.

3) Attempt to include n .extension person tn the .eam
-- Collaboration between research organizations
and extension can be greatly facilitated by
including extension personnel early-on in the
project. The knowledge which extension personnel

have for an area may provide insights into the
constraints which farmers are facing, and such
information can be extremely useful to the other
scientists. However, care must be taken to insure
that biased views on the part of some
extensionists don't over-influence the teams
perceptions of the situation.

III. Review af Ja Existing Literature -- Ideally, team members
who are going to conduct a survey are already acquainted
with the area to be studied or are familiar with the
literature. However, this is not always the case. Thus,
it is important for team members (especially the
expatriates) to review J existing literature in-country
for at ~at one egJ prior Jft going tD t he fie~d. Such
literature includes books, research reports, government
documents, fugitive papers and any other materials which
will help familiarize the team with the area to be
studied. Begin this literature search with the AID
Mission, local libraries and library at the research

IV. ilaegft BLackr.anund nfozrmaftin frm Enaladseahla
Personnel Such as Local Government Officials, Project
Personnel, AIDn Officials, and Dthenr Eesbarce ELSnnS --
When contacting these individuals, be aware of the
A) Networks. af Knowledgeable People -- Follow-up leads
given by contacted .persons regarding other
knowledgeable sources. Be aware of the fact that
there are networks of knowledgeable people which you
need to gain access to.

B) Inquire AbIout Other Written Materials From Each Person
Contacted -- Through this process, the team can
accumulate a sizable amount of material in a very
short time.

V. hatain Ivas and L&-&i.S Qf Inj Pdiati_.n Imam th.e
Appropriate Officials Maps of the area to be surveyed
can usually be obtained from geological survey offices
within the capital city. Sometimes updated maps may be
obtained from agricultural development projects working in
the region to be studied. In addition to maps, it may be
useful to have letters of introduction from Ministry
officials to facilitate collaboration with regional
officials and to insure access to the study area. AID
Mission personnel may help the team members obtain such

VI. Prior to CnDdu1Lting the Survey, Contact the Peole Who
Will use the Results of Ithe Study to Elicit Their Support,
Data Needs, and to Obtain as BMuh Information About tthe
Area Eram Them as Possible. This Interaction Will Belp
Delineate the Mandate of the Research and PoQlitical
Limitations -- For example, when working with a research
station, contact the administrators, department heads and
other important personnel (e.g., expatriate advisors) to
clarify objectives and to elicit information needs. If
the team has not been selected or constituted prior to
these meetings, the administrators and department heads
should participate in the selection process. Criteria for
the selection of the members should be discussed with
these research station personnel. (See Step II)

VII. Team Members Shosuld CQome Together to Formulate a Topical
Outline to BA iLsad in Guiding Jnt-eruiews Prior qt Going ti
the Field -- (See Appendix A) Important considerations
for constructing such a topical outline are the following:

A) Consult iOher TpLical fGiUjdi to 1SuLe Jt1ihat aiar
Topical Alras AXr Considered -- For instance, if
previous sondeos or reconnaissance surveys have been
done in the area, these should be reviewed. In
addition, the topical lists put together by Collinson
and CIMMYT or outlines used in surveys in other
countries may be worthwhile to review.

B) Use tLh InformatioQn Obtained from Secondary Data
Sources ft Devisge thoa TpiLa List -- Topics may be
derived from a variety of sources such as:

1) Written reports

2) Interviews with resource persons

3) Information needs Df research personnel

4) Previous knowledge of team members

5) Prior research experience
C) consensus Should be Reached Among th Team Members on
Every Topic Inladeda in th Outline -- This insures
that all team members are satisfied with the topics
chosen for the outline.

D) The Development of This Topical Outline Can be a
Crucial Team Bilding Exercise -- This process allows
each of the team members to express his/her concerns,
interests and biases up-front so that every team
member knows the others' views. Although this is a
tedious, time-consuming process, the key benefits
derived from this exercise are:

1) It allIow tha tam to function as single unit or

2) The -discipl inary gcncras 9f each mmhber are
incorporated into the outline;

3) Survey priorities are established before going to
the field;

VIII. The Topical Outline Should hb Tested Prior =o Going tQ th<.
Field -- This test can be conducted in a village near the
research station before initiating the survey. This
procedure will allow the team to determine the appropriate
manner in which to ask some questions and help them refine
their interviewing techniques. Following this pre-test,
tables can be constructed from the topical list which
allow for the transfer of data from field notes to a
comparative format. These tables have two useful

A) The Tables Allow f=o Continual Comparaiso'ns A]n~na
Farmers Which Helps Focus the Discussion Between Team

B) Thet Tables Provide a Means =or Im~ediately Evaluating
or, Checking t.h Comleteness o f th. Field Notes --
However, sometimes team members will not want to
pursue all the topics on the list in order to obtain
more detailed information on a particular aspect of
the system. In such cases, the tables will be
deliberately incomplete.

IX. Target Area Selection -- Often the choice of target area
is made in advance of researcher participation. If there
is some flexibility in the choice of the area, the
decision should be made in conjunction with the
collaborating institutions (i.e., the research
organization, development organization, USAID Mission,
research station administration/researchers, etc.).
Important points to consider when choosing a target area

A) When Considering the Target Area, Be Sure jt Consider
Hhat I n e Reasonably Covered in the Tim Allotted --
Coverage will be influenced by a number of factors
such as environmental uniformity, technological
development, socio-economic conditions,
infrastructural development and access during the
rainy season. Compromises may have to be made
concerning the amount of time to spend in each
demarcated region. The team should plan to spend more
time in regions where the agricultural systems are
more diverse/variable than in regions where they are
more uniform if this can be determined in advance.

B) The T&am Should Draw IL a Scheduler Specifiying the
H2umhlr a& 9 DeAYA ta Be. Zegn-t In iAc h amar.a
Region/Area as Well Aa fr Trvel Discussing Results
and Writing -- Building in some flexibility in this
schedule is extremely useful.

X. Wh.n ths Team Arrives in a ReBion to B S 9UeiZ d. It
Zhaulid kixa CfQnfJafQ LQSQi Dffialalsa Jtf EQ s tablish
Collaborative Links. And to Elicit Their Help -- Such
officials might include regional administrators, regional
project personnel, and/or regional extension officers.
These contacts serve two useful purposes:

A) These Individuals fan B&ly Select Potential Villages
for th Survey Based on Their Knowledge f he thArea.

B) The Information Need of These Regional Administrators
Can Br g Elicited During These Initial Contacts to
Insure that the Survey Results Might Bg Useful toa Them
-- However, it is important to realize that-the
objective of the regional officials may be in conflict
with those of the research organization. Thus, it is
important for the team to establish its priorities
regarding the information it plans to gather even if
these are not consistent with the objectives of the
regional officials.

XI. Village Selectin -- There are a number of factors that
should be taken into account when selecting villages for
the survey. These include:

A) Location in Relation t the Base f Operation -- Aside
from using variable direction as a selection criteria,
distance from the base of operation should be
considered for future on-farm trials. Typically, on-
farm trials should be within about one hour's drive
from the local base.

B) Size

C) Access to Roads

D) Institutional Complexity (Infrastructural Development)

E) Ethnic Distribution (Tribes or Sub-Tribes)

F) Prior Contact Df Villages Before the Survey May or May
Not he Necessary and Advantageous -- For instance, in
Liberia, the survey team found that prior contact was
not advantageous for it made the team's arrival a
political event. In other areas of the world this may
not be the case. The research team should use its best
judgement on this matter.

XII. Upon Arrival in tjee Village, the ITam Should First Megt
with the village LaaderL and Explain Lt Them and Other
Villagers Erxaegt the Purpose of the Study -- In this
initial meeting, the team members can explain who they
represent, what the results will be used for and why so
many questions will be asked. While the group is
assembled, general inquiries can be directed to them
regarding village infrastructure, land tenure
arrangements, sources of credit, marketing, typical labor
arrangements and project interventions.

XIII. After the Initial Inquiries With the Assembled Villagers,
the s.am Should Split U- Int o.uags TZ.w ta Conduct
Interviews With Farmers -- If the team members do not know
the language, a translator should accompany them. Three
important points should be taken into consideration when
conducting these interviews:

A) Interview Should Be Conducted With the Farm Family,
15t Just the Male Farmer -- Both the husband and wife
should be present for the interview if this is
possible. This is because the woman of the farm
household may be responsible for a considerable amount
of the labor performed in the fields. This is
especially true in most African societies.

B) IntervieNw Should ef Conducted On the Farm Households'
Fields Awy Froxm the village -- This is to enable the
researchers to see the fields they are inquiring about
and to obtain answers and opinions specific to the
farm family being interviewed rather than the group
consensus. In addition, farm families are more likely
to believe that the researchers are committed to
helping them if the researchers make the effort to
come to their fields. As a consequence, the farm
families responses are likely to be more truthful.
However, it would be counter-productive if the team
spent all of the time walking to distant fields. Thus
farm families should be selected whose fields are less
than one hour walking distance.* Using this
interviewing strategy, each pair of researchers should
be able to interview at least two farm families in a
day. In those situations where only partial
interviews are conducted, more farmers can be

C) Team M mbers Should o..t Wrk With -the Sam e Rese.rch
partner Every Day -- (See Hildebrand, 1981b) Rotating
team members on a daily basis gives each researcher an
opportunityto work with and learn from the other team
members. This greatly facilitates the exchange of
ideas and helps establish better communication between

team members. Ideally, one social scientist and one
physical/biological scientist will be matched up in
each pair.

XIV. After Interviews Witmh arm Families Are Completed for
Selected Village in a Demarcated Area. jth TeaAm Mmbers
Should Get Together tj. Formulate Hypotheses About lth
Farming Systems.. Which Characterize that Region -- This
procedure helps summarize the important attributes and
constraints of the farming systems and provides a basis
for comparison when survey work is started in other
demarcated areas. The team should reach a consensus for
every hypothesis formulated. As with the development of
the topical outline, the process can be a crucial team
building exercise. This procedure of hypotheses
formulation should be done for every demarcated area that
is surveyed.

XV. once th Surveyt is Completed and Hypotheses Have Been
Derived for Each Demarcated Area. General Hypotheses Can
be Formulated Which A ll A Regions Surveyed -- These
general hypotheses identify farming system
characteristics that are commonly found throughout the
surveyed area. This process helps sift out those
characteristics which are unique to a given demarcated
area. Once again, the team should reach a consensus on
all general hypotheses formulated.

XVI. After the General and Specific Hpotheses Have Been
Formulated an the Attributes and Constraints f. th
Exisiting Farmina Systems in an Area, the Team HZ mhlme
ihauld e rive a mir .. eAf BecammIeIfaia na Q a Ha flp.
Alleviate the Identified Constraints -- Team consensus
should be reached on all recommendations proposed. In
addition to being another team building exercise, this
activity gives the team members an opportunity to combine
their various disciplinary expertise in formulating
possible solutions. In some cases, the team may be called
upon to prioritize these recommendations. However, this
last step may be handled by the research organization.

* Occasionally, the researchers will want to interview farmers
with fields farther than one hour away to see if there are
major differences with those fields which are close to the

XVII. The Results of fhe Reconnaissance Survey Should Be. Written
IUL in A Time-Effective Manner -- Three important points to
consider in writing up the report are:

A) The EoQmat to2 e Followd foLr Dxrnizing the Report
should be Devised By the Team Leaders

B) To Facilitate the write-up, the Tam Leaders Shlald
Assign Eac1h mAmbkr a portion fI ths Report Q tb&
Written -- When the sections of the report are being
assigned, team members should be able to negotiate for
the portions they want to write. Flexibility in these
assignments is very important.

C) The Finished Report Should be Attractively Packaged --
If the report has an appealing cover and is well
printed, it is more likely to be taken seriously and
more likely to be read.


Due to the increased emphasis placed on time-effective

diagnostic research techniques in recently implemented farming

system projects, reconnaissance surveys hav. come to play a more

critical role. The primary objectives of this paper has been to

identify the major attributes of reconnaissance surveys and to

outline a stepwise procedure for conducting them. This procedure

was based on the methodology used by the authors in a recent

study in Liberia. Viewed as a complementary alternative to

other informal survey procedures previously described in the

literature, it is hoped that this presentation will help further

the development and refinement of such techniques. Such fine-

tuning should continue as experience with these techniques


Collinson, M.P.
1982 "Farming Systems Research in Eastern Africa: The
Experience of CIMMYT and Some National Agricultural
Research Services, 1976-81" Michigan State University
International Development Paper N. (East Lansing,
Michigan: Department of Agricultural Economics,
Michigan State University).

Frankenberger, Timothy R., John A. Lichte, Arthur S. Gedeo, John
Kpakolo Jallah and Maran J. Sherman
1984 Farming Syste m Research in Three Counties in Liberia:
A Reconnaissance Survey in Grand Gedeh. Nimba and Bons
Counties September. Supported by the U.S. Agency for
International Development Farming Systems Support
Project, University of Florida with cooperation from:
the Unversity of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, the
U.S. AID Mission, Monrovia, and the Central
Agricultural Research Institute, Suakoko, Liberia.

Franzel, Steven
1984 "Comparing the Results of an Informal Survey With
Those of a Formal Survey: A Case Study of Farming
Systems Research/Extension (FSR/E) in Middle
Kirinyaga, Kenya" Paper presented to the 1984
Farming Systems Research/Extension Symposium,
Manhattan, Kansas.

Hildebrand, Peter
1981 "Motiviating Small Farmers, Scientists and Technicians
to Accept Change," Agricultual A administration, 8,

Hildebrand, Peter
1981b "Combining disciplines in Rapid Rural Appraisal: The
Sondeo Approach," Agricultural Administration, 8, 423-

Honadle, George
1982 "Rapid Reconnaissance for Development Administration:
Mapping and Moulding Organizational Landscapes," World
Development, 10:8, London.

Rhoades, R.E.
1982 "The Art of the Informal Agricultural Survey,"
International Potato Center, Lima, Peru.

Shaner, W.W., P.F. Philipp and W.R. Schmehl
1982 Farming Systems Research and Development: Guidelines
fQr Developing Countries, Boulder, Colorado: Westview

Bibliography .



I. Village Characteristics

A. Size of Village (either in household or population)

B. Institutional Development

Other Government Offices
Access to Roads
Access to Water

II. Demographic Characteristics

A. Ethnic Affiliation

Other Tribal Relationships

B. Composition of Household (who participates jointly on a family farm)

Adults (males, females)
Education of Household Members

III. Farm Characteristics

A. Access to Land (land tenure inquiries)


B. Farm Size (May be determined for rice fields by the amount of seed used.
Fields of tree crops may be determined by number of trees.
Some verification of field sizes will be done through measure-
ment, e.g. # of 5 gallon tins.)

C. Family Fields vs. Individual Fields.

IV. Cropping Patterns

A. Kinds of Crops Grown (e.g. upland rice, swamp rice, cassava, coffee,
cocoa, peanuts, sugar cane, citrus, oil palm,
rubber, other intercrops)


B. Sequence of Crops (period cultivated)

C. Length of Fallow

Past and present
Indicators of when bush is ready to be cultivated after fallow (plants)
Different fallowing strategies

V. Crops

A. Upland Rice

Area grown
Site selection
Local-name, characteristics, source, selection criteria
Introduced-name, characteristics, source, selection criteria
Diseases and pests
Inputs used fertilizer, pesticides
Land preparation
Brushing methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints
Felling of trees "
Burning and clearing "
Other problems and constraints
Planting methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints, intercrops,
Bird watching "" replanting
Fencing "
Weeding 2nd weeding,
Harvesting use of weeds
Post harvest "
(drying methods, storage methods, threshing methods, milling)
Control of output
Portion marketed income received

B. Swamp Rice (traditional vs. improved)

Area grown
Site selection
Local-name, characteristics, source, selection criteria
Introduced-name, characteristics, source, selection criteria
Diseases and pests
Inputs used fertilizer, pesticides


Land preparation (traditional vs. improved)
Brushing methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints
Felling of trees (stumping) "
Burning and clearing "
Other problems and constraints
Planting methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints, intercrops,
Bird watching replanting
(1st & 2nd)
Fencing "
Weeding 2nd weeding,
Harvesting use of weeds
Post harvest "
(.drying methods, storage methods, threshing methods, milling)
Control of output
Portion marketed income received
Linkage with upland rice and other crops

C. Cassava (pure stand vs. secondary crop)

Area grown
Site selection
Local-name, characteristics, source, selection criteria
Introduced-name, characteristics, source, selection, criteria
(cooking preparation, leaf characteristics)
Diseases and pests
Inputs used fertilizer, pesticides
Land preparation
Brushing methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints
Felling of trees "
Burning and clearing "
Other problems and constraints
Planting methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints, intercrops,# of
Fencing cuttings and
Underbrushing pattern
Harvesting "
(leaf harvesting, timing relative to rice and rains)
Post harvest "
(storage how long do they leave it in the ground and how long will
it keep out of the ground?)
Preparation techniques
Portion marketed income received
Perception of cassava in relation to rice -Chungry season crop)
Use as animal feed

D. Other Field Crops (pursue cropping pattern questions when appropriate)

Tuber crops eddoess, sweet potatoes, yams, cocoa yams, other)
Sugar cane (cane juice preparation and marketing)
Groundnuts and other legumes (e.g. cowpeas)
Vegetables (e.g. bitterball, eggplant, okra, pepper melegulata pepper,
tomatoes, pumpkin, watermelon, greens, cabbage, onions,
cucumbers, others)

E. Wild Food


F. Tree Crops

1. Coffee
Number of years growing coffee
Site selection
Area grown
Local-name, characteristics, source, selection
Introduced-name, characteristics, source, selection
Diseases and pests
Inputs used fertilizer, pesticides
Land preparation
Brushing timing, who, mandays, constraints
Thinning and pruning "
Problems and constraints (hired labor)
Planting methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints, intercrops
Underbrushing "t
Harvesting "
(years from planting, hired labor, period of harvest, cherry)
Post harvest
Pulping methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints
Drying "f
Storage "
Marketing (channels, price, transport)

2. Cocoa (see coffee list)
Site selection constraints (soils)
Pods (yellow color)
Post harvest
Depoding (method and timing)
Farmer practice (drying or fermenting)
(drying tend to split)
(1 week fermenting recommended then slow drying 3-4 hours a day
and stir for 3-4 days then continual drying for 3-4 more days)
Marketing (channels, price, transport)
S(price vs. quality if improper drying and fermenting)

3. Citrus (backyard vs. orchard)
Kinds grown (orange, grapefruit)
Site selection
Local-name, characteristics, source, selection
Introduced-name, characteristics, source, selection
Diseases and pests
Inputs used

Land preparation
Brushing timing, methods, who, mandays, con
SFelling trees "
Problems and constraints
Planting "
(spacing, size of seedling, seedling or bud)
(20 x 16) (5 yr. vs. 3 yr.)
Underbrushing timing, methods, who, mandays, constraints
Harvesting "
(number of years, period of harvest, days can store)
Marketing (channels, prices, transport, days can store b

4. Bananas and plantain (see citrus list)
How many suckers allowed

5. Mangoes (see citrus list)



before marketing)

6. Oil palm (wild vs. introduced)
Area grown
Site selection
Wild name, characteristics
Introduced source
Inputs used fertilizer, pesticides, etc.
Land preparation
Brushing methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints
Felling trees I" "
Problems and constraints
Planting "
(spacing 30 x 30)
Underbrushing methods, timing, who, mandays, constraints
(Intercropping or cover crop)
SHarvest "
Post harvest
Sale vs. consumption
Oil vs. wine
Marketing (channels LPMC, local, prices)
Fresh fruit
Palm kernels
7. Rubber
Area grown
Site selection
Varieties name, characteristics, source
Diseases and pests
Inputs used fertilizer, pesticides, etc.
Land preparation
Brushing methods, timing, who, mandays, constrai
Felling trees "
Problems and constraints



Cintercrop or cover crop)
(frequency, professional vs. amateur, chemical aids)
Processing latex vs. cuplump (coagulated)
Marketing (channels, prices, transport)
latex vs. cuplump
8. Minor & wild tree crops
(see other.tree crops lists)

VI. Animal Husbandry
A. Goats
Husbandry pattern
Feeding practices
(Free vs. controlled)
Diseases, mortality
Role in system
Storage of wealth
Social uses
(reciprocal exchange, feed communal labor, bride price, ceremonial,
religious, status symbol)
Other factors to consider
(prestige differences, taste differences, ownership ethnic,
religious, sexual)

B. Sheep
(.see goat list)

C. Cattle
(see goat list)

D. Poultry (.chickens and ducks)
(see goat list)
Introduced breeds
Egg sales

E. Pigs
Csee goat list)

F. Food taboos

VII. Wild Game
A. Source of Meat
Deer, groundhog, bush hog, monkey, baboon, rat, snakes, lizards, etc.

B. How often wild meat eaten (importance in diet)

C. Food taboos

D. Cultural values associated with consumption of wild meat

E. Source of income (meat, hides, other animal products marketing)

F. Game population trends

G. Hunting restrictions

VIII. Fishing
A. Traditional Fishing
Fishing patterns
Importance of fish in diet
Fresh vs. dried
Marketing (sales and purchases, penetration of marine fish)

B. Fish Ponds
Annual vs. seasonal
Rice or other crop association
Source of .fingerlings
Feeding patterns
Pond construction
Type of fish

IX. Other Sources of Income
A. Off-farm employment
Seasonal migration (concessions, mining, urban employment)
Local off-farm employment (shops, mills, itinerant trader, government
Arts and crafts
Farm laborer
Money sent home from relatives Cpermanent migration)
Other enterprises
Bride price

X. Credit
A. Credit association Cformal)

B. Susu

C. Government loans (projects, Ag. Coop. Dev. Bank)

D. Relatives

E. Cooperatives

F. Other sources

G. Loan terms (time, interest, grace period)

H. Reasons for borrowing (social, production improvements, sickness, home

XII. Consumption
A. Food preferences

B. Food habits
Who eats with whom
Number of meals (timing, composition)
Consumption of main meal
Order of eating

C. Recipes (ingredients in main dishes)

D. Seasonality of foods consumed

E. Culturally prescribed foods (infants, lactating women, elderly)

F. Home grown vs. market purchased food

G. Ceremonial foods (occasions and kinds of food eaten)

H. Food taboos

XIII. Material Good Status Indicators (.observation)
A. House construction (zinc roof, wall characteristics, type of door
and windows)

B. Radio/tape recorder

C. Other

XIV. Kuu Labor

XV'. Community Farms

XVI. Other Labor Requirements (village self help)

XVII. Project Interventions


A Comparison of Variable Codts of Informal Versus Formal FSR Diagnostic Surveys in Mali*

Formal I year survey
3 villages each 200 kms from HQ
3 enumerator, bi-monthly visits
16 month turnaround based on
3 enumerators x 40,000 x 12m =
1 controleur x 50,000 x 12
3 bicycles x 150,000

Bi-monthly visits by controleur
750 kms per 3 village tour
25 I gas per 100 kms
10 tours separate from researchers
7500 kms

1,440,000 FH

Formal single visit survey (3m)
area 200 km from HQ, 14 villages
4 enumerators
7 month turnaround based on
4 enumerators x 40.000 x 5m 800,000 FM
I controleur x 50,000 x 6 300,000

Enumerator vehicle
300 kms/wk x 12 uks = 3600 kms

Informal survey
Many villages, 200 kms from HQ
Researchers, 5 weeks full time
7 week turnaround



Bi-monthly tours of researchers
during cropping season
14 tours 28 weeks, 10,500 kms

Per Diem
28 wks x 4 days = 112 days
112 x 3 persons x 5000 FM
40 uks x 4 days = 160 days
160 days x 3000 FH
49 uks x 4 days = 192 days
192 days x 2000 FM

Vehicle Maintenance
18,000 kns
Field Supplies
Computer Operation (6m)
Computer Supplies
Researcher data manipulation
3 months x 150.000 FM

Researcher visits






9,254,000 FM

500 kms x 8 trips =4000 kms

Per Diem
8 visits x 2 persons x 5 days
80 days x 5000
90 days x 2000
4 x 90 x 2000
170 days x 2000

Vehicle Maintenance
7600 kms
Field Supplies
Computer Operator
Computer Supplies
Data manipulated by
enumerators and controleur

Researcher visits







5 visits x 500 kms
2500 kms
Per diem
5 persons x 20 days x 5000 FM

20 days x 2000 FM

Vehicle Maintenance
2500 kms
Field Supplies

4,453,000 FM

* Lichte & Franzel, 1983

325,000 FM




1,035,000 FM

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