Farming systems in the lower Shebelle region

Material Information

Farming systems in the lower Shebelle region
Boaten, M. Y.
Busuri, M. I.
Yusuf, A. M.
Place of Publication:
Somali Democratic Republic, Ministry of Agriculture
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Africa ( LCSH )
Farming ( LCSH )
Agriculture ( LCSH )
Farm life ( LCSH )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Somalia


Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services ( with any additional information they can provide.

Full Text

.- -2 / .. .
---t3-U ----**---- ------




* -,. ".. .

SApplied Research, Training, and Extension Project '
#649-0112 USU/USAID





.Boateng, M. Y.
Busuri, M. I.
SYusuf, A. M.

Utah State University Team / Somali Counterparts

MARCH. 1985



Acknowledgements o o o o o

Preface o o o o o o o o

Summary o o o o o o o o

1o Introduction o 0o o o o o

20 Environment o o o o o o o

2o.1 Location 0 o o o o o
2o2o Rainfall o o o o o o
2.30 Land Use o 0 o o o

3o Methodology o o0 o o o o o

4o Household o0 o o o o o o

4o1o Demography o 0 o ao o
4020 Land Holding o o o o .

50 Crops o o o o o o o o o 0

5o01 Cropping System o o 0 o
5.20 Plant Crop Production o o

60 Farming Activities o0 0 0 0

6o1o Land Preparation o o o .
602o Planting .e o o o
6o3o Weeding o o o o o
6o4. Fertilizer Use o o o
6.5o Use of Insecticide o .
606; Harvesting-o o o 0o

70 Labor Requirement and Cost .o o

80 Storage and Marketing o o o

9o Summary of Some Selected Inputs o

10o Summary of Some Selected Practices

11o Farmers" Constraints o o o o o

0 0 0 0 a 0 a

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0
0 0
0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0
0 0

0 0

0 0
0 0

0 0

0 0
o o

a o
0 0

0 0

0 0

o a
0 0

0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

12o Recommendation Domains Generated from the Survey Results o

References 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
iexerences o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

Glossary o o o o o .0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Appendix (Survey Questionnaire) o o ... o 0o





1. Land use, Merka and Koryoley Districts--Cultivated and tilled
areas, Gu 1984 .o o o 0 o o o . .
2. Merka and Koryoley Districts--Major cropping areas, in ha,
for Gu 1984 o a o o o o o o o 0 o o a o0
3. Sample area and sample size o o o o o o o o
4. Farmer characteristics at the survey, 1985 o o o o o o .
5. Land holding at the survey area, 1985 o o o o o o
6a. Plant cropping systems in the survey area, 1985 o o0 o o
6b. Animal cropping systems in the survey area, 1985 o .
7. Animal feeding at the survey area, 1985 o o o o o o 0
8. Percent of farmers growing some selected crops at.the survey ,
area, 1985 0 o 0 o o o o 0 o o 0 0 0 o0
9. Land preparation at the survey area, 1985 o o o o
10. Planting (input use) at the survey area, 1985 o o 0. o
11. Weeding at the survey area, 1985 o o 0 o* o
12. Use of fertilizers at the survey area, 1985 0 *o
13. Use of insecticide at the survey area, 1985 o o .
14. Source of insecticides used by farmers at the survey area,
1985 o . .. . a 0 .
15i Harvesting at the survey area, 1985 0 0 -o o

21 o


Labor requirement and cost at the survey area, 1985 38
Storage and marketing at the survey area, 1985 o o* 41
Summary of some selected inputs at the survey area, 1985 o 0 43
Summary of some selected activities in the survey area, 1985 0 46
Farmers' constraints at the survey area, 1985 . 48
Some suggested categorizations of FEA units into some
Recommendation Domains for on-farm research/trials 51



Map of the Lower Shebelli Region . .
Total monthly rainfall 1978-1984 Janale Station .
Breakdown of farmers by age division in Lower Shebelli
Region *
Animal production in the survey area . .
Recommendation domains generated from the survey results

S 16
S 22
S 50



Sincere appreciation and acknowledgement are due to the following persons
and institutions for their assistance, guidance and encouragement in the
accomplishment of this study.
To Mr. Guy Denton, the Chief of Party of the Utah State University
(USU) Team, of which I am a member, for encouraging me and making it possible
for the printing of this paper.
To Adan Abdulahi, the Regional Extension Officer; Abdirazak Hassan Haji,
the Subject Matter Specialist; Yasin Mohamed Fara, the District Extension
Officer, Merka District; and Nuur Salah Mohamed, the District Officer, Koryoley
District, all in the Lower Shebelli Region of Somalia, who guided in the
selection of the FEA Units and assisted in the collection of the data.
To the Field Extension Agents (FEAs) in the six FEA Units--Abdi Islow,
Omar Idris Abdi, Abdikadir Omar Mohamed, Mohamed Salah and Ahmed Abdi Askir--
for collecting the data from their respective units, and to the Farmers who
voluntarily responded to the questions.
To the Printing Unit of the National-Extension Service (NES), especially
to Mark Bushman for shaping and printing the final manuscripts.
Tc the USU/USAID who provided financial and moral support for the study.
Finally, sincere and profound gratitude is due to Mrs. Dora Smith for
drafting, arranging and typing the final copy of the study.



Problems of small farmers have been the focus of the policy makers in
developing countries in recent years. The main reason for such line of action
is to help increase food production and welfare of these farmers. Thus, to be
able to help this target group there is the need to know their environment:
their way of life, the land from which they derive their livelihood, the types
of food and fiber they produce and how and why they produce them, the resources
available to them and those that constrain their efforts, marketing outlets,
etc. Through such knowledge the farmers can be grouped into some homogeneous
groups for special attention.
This diagnostic survey was purported to identify farmer characteristics
and farming systems practiced by some selected small farmers in the Lower
Shebelli Region. Following the identification, farmers were grouped into some
domains for some specific agronomic research or trials purported to solve some
problems associated with each group. The final product of this work was to
assist the agronomist and other agricultural specialists in planning for an
appropriate technology development suitable to the farmers during the-Gu season
of 1985. Thus, the first part describes the methodology adopted for the collec-
tion of the data. It is followed by weather and characteristics of the survey.
Cropping systems and other farming systems are documented next. This is
followed by identification-of resources and activities at the survey area.
Labor has been given a special treatment in this section. Farmers' constraints
have also had a special treatment. Harvesting, storage and marketing have been
treated after farmers' constraints. The last part of the analysis contains the
Recommendation Domains of the survey area.
The authors will appreciate comment and criticism in order to improve the
procedure and the paper as a whole. It will be appreciated if comments and
observations could be offered on the concept of Recommendation Domains in this
Michael Y. Boateng
F. S. Economist


1. An Exploratory Survey was conducted at some selected six FEA Units in
Koryoley and Merka Districts to assist the Extension scientists in planning
comparison trials in farmers' fields.
2. One hundred and fifteen farmers were randomly selected from 5200 farm
families for questionnaire administration.
3. Averages and percentages were used to analyze the data. Tables were
built for comparative analysis of the 6 FEA Units.
4. The narratives described the characteristics of the tables, which
mainly show the methodology, family characteristics, land holding, cropping
system, crop production, land preparation, planting, weeding, use of fertilizers,
use of insecticides, labor requirement, availability of inputs, some selected
activities and practices, farmers' constraints, harvesting, and marketing.
5. The average age at the survey area is 49, average family size is about
8 people while the average number of children per family is commonly six. Fif-
teen percent of the survey were females and 85% were males. Ninety-four percent
of the survey are married.
6. Ninety-one percent of the farmers surveyed hold land between 1 and 5
Shectares, 1% hold land 6-10 hectares, 2% hold land 11-20 hectares and 6% hold
-land over 20 hectares. The-average number of fields per farmer is 2 and the
average field size is 3.3 hectares (about 1.5 hectares per field at median).
7. Seventy-five percent of the respondents practice monocropping, while
25% intercrop, mainly maize with cowpea in Gu season and maize with sesame in
Der season.
8. Seventy-two percent of the survey have livestock of some kind. Fifty-
four percent of the farmers raise cattle, 22% raise sheep, 19% raise chickens
and 14% raise goats. Only 2% raise camels. The average number of cattle per
farmer is 7 while the average number for sheep and chickens are 3.
9. The main crops grown at the survey area are maize, sesame, cowpea,
groundnut, watermelon and tomato. All the farmers surveyed grow maize while
a little over 93% grow sesame. About 30% grow cowpea, mostly intercropped
with maize. Over 20% grow tomatoes while 10% grow watermelon. Only 3% of
the farmers surveyed grow groundnut (peanut).
10. Ninety-two percent of the respondents prepare their land with trac-
tor while 8% prepare the land with yambo. Over 95% of those who use tractor

rent it; just about 5% own the tractor. The average cost for plowing with a
tractor at the survey area is 1302.3/- per hectare, and the average cost for
harrowing a hectare is 861/-. It takes about 3 hours for a tractor to plow a
hectare. The average man-day per jibal for plowing with yambo is about one,
and it costs about 8c/- per man-day to clear a jibal. The average cost of
plowing a hectare with yambo is 1748/-.
11. Over 60% of the farmers surveyed use local seed for planting while
a little over 39% use some improved seeds. Those who use local seeds mainly
get them from their farms or from friends. Most of the famers who use improved
seeds get them from some agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture. It is
amazing that over 85% of the respondents plant in rows of some kind. Just
about 15% plant at random. One kilogram of seeds, on average, is used to
plant a jibal (mostly maize seeds), and there are 3 seeds in each hill. It
costs a little over 20/- of seed per jibal.
12. All the farmers surveyed use yambo in weeding their farms. Twenty-
two percent weed twice per crop season. Seventy-one percent weed thrice,
while 8% weed four times. It takes one man-day to weed a jibal.
13. Only 7.5% of the respondents use fertilizer, 92.5% do not. Those who
apply fertilizer use Urea. The cost per kg fertilizer is 8/-, and all the
farmers interviewed find it very difficult to get the chemical.
14. Seventy-four percent use some insecticides for stalkborer control.
Just 26% do not use any insecticide. About 41% of those who use insecticide
use Durisban while about 59% use Basudin. About 30% of those who use the
chemical apply it once and the rest, 70%, apply it more than once. The average
rate reported per jibal is 151 grams. It costs a little over 67/- per kg.
Eighty-seven percent of the farmers find it difficult to get the chemical; only
13% do not find it difficult to secure. The main source of the chemicals is
the market. However, some selected villages get them from ONAT, Co-ops, and
15. The average amount of labor (hands) needed for planting is 5 (hands),
weeding is 12 (hands), harvesting is 7, threshing is 3, and irrigation is one.
Ninety-seven percent of the respondents said labor is very scarce. Ninety-
three percent of the farmers need labor during weeding, 62% need it during
harvesting and threshing. Labor is prepared to accept about 102/- per man-day
in the Gu season, while farmers are prepared to pay 78/-. Labor will be will-
ing to accept 83/- in Der but the farmers can afford 66/-. This explains the
scarcity of labor (demand and supply do not meet).

16. Some selected production practices at the survey area are: mono-
cropping, intercropping, planting in rows, planting at random, weeding (some
number of times per season), irrigation, application of insecticides, appli-
cation of fertilizer, harvesting, marketing and storage.
17. The main resources available to farmers in some limited quantities
are: fertilizers (7.5%), insecticides (26%), local seed (60.5%), improved
seed (39.5%), land, labor (50%), yambo, tractor (5%), water for effective
irrigation (30%), credit (3%).
18. Farmers' main problems of increasing output include lack of credit,
lack of fuel, non-availability and effective use of tractor, scarce irriga-
tion water, lack of fertilizers, lack of insecticides, and labor problems.
Ninety-five percent of the respondents do not get credit but 71% indicated
that lack of credit is a problem. Forty-eight percent said lack of fuel is
a constraint, while 83% said non-availability and cost of using tractor is a
big constraint. Seventy-eight percent said scarcity of irrigation water is
a major constraint. Seventy-four percent reported that lack of insecticides
is a big constraint, while 66% said lack of fertilizers prevents them from
increasing output. Only 34% said that labor shortage is a constraint.
19. The average yield per jibal at the survey area is 92 kg, while the
average yield per hectare is 1467 kg or 14.67 quintals. It takes one man-day
-or less to harvest a jibal at the cost of 31/-.
20.- About 78% of farmers_surveyed store part of their produce, the
rest store all they produce. The average quantity sold per farmer is 5.5
quintals at an average price of 1563/- per quintal. Almost all the produce
are sold at the open market (98%).
21. Three main Recommendation Domains emerged from the study based on
input use and practices at the survey area: Traditional Stage, Transitional
Stage and Improved Stage. The six FEA Units are categorized under these
Recommendation Domains.


Farming problems exist everywhere food and fiber are grown. The need to
identify what these problems are cannot be overemphasized. Hence, policy
makers are always putting pressure on researchers for information. The quality
of information is always at stake as the pressure mounts. Good information can
be obtained from the source. This requires skill in formulating appropriate
questions and providing sound administration by well trained enumerators or
field officers.
This study was conducted as a pilot diagnostic survey to identify farmers'
practices, resources available to them and resources that constrain their
efforts. Farmers' opinion on general issues was solicited for clear under-
standing of their democratic feelings. Data thus collected is probably the
most current and most accurate available. The authors are not claiming per-
fection but contend that with the training and supervision exercised on the
field officers, as well as the editing that was carried out in the field, the
data should be fairly accurate and representative of the survey.
This survey originally was purported to be used as a guide for grouping
farmers into some Recommendation Domains for planning comparison trials and
socio-economic studies for the Gu season 1985. However, the information that
emanated from the survey is so interesting that the result may be used for-
additional planning in the same Region. It can also be used to reinfdrce
management decision processes and prioritization.


2.1. Location

Lower Shebelli Region lies approximately between latitude 20 and 30 north
of the equator and longitude 430 and 450 east of the Greenwich Meridian. It
stretches about 275 kilometers (km) along the coast and about 138 km and
103 km northeastern and northwestern sides, respectively. Thus the region is
approximately 275 km long and 121 km wide. It occupies approximately 90,000
The study is located in Merka and Koryoley Districts in the lower part
of the Shebelli River, thus the Lower Shebelli Region. All the study areas
are accessible by road. However, the roads leading to Sameisamei and Majabto
areas in the Merka District and that going to Farhane area in the Koryoley
District are seasonal. They are not accessible during the rainy season. The
roads leading to Mushani and Gebei in the Merka District and that to B/Shekh
in the Koryoley District are first class roads. Thus, they are accessible all
year round.
See Figure 1, page 8, for a map of the Lower Shebelli Region.

2.2. Rainfall
Somalia has an average annual rainfall of_less than 600 mm in most of its
agricultural areas. Its agricultural areas can be grouped into four major
climatic zones: the Shebelli, the Juba, Bay, and the Northwest Mountain zones.
The Shebelli and Juba zones are mostly irrigated, while Bay and the Northwest
zones are rainfed. Rainfall is vital to Somalia because about 75% of the
cultivated area is rainfed, and the rest is irrigated.
Even though the area under consideration here is irrigated, rainfall is
needed for plant germination and for filling the river whose water is used to
irrigate the land. In fact, farmers depend on the first rains of the two
seasons for planting. It is not uncommon to see farmers planting more than
once because the rains did not come at the first planting. Thus, in describing
the farming systems of Somalia, it is pertinent to show the rainfall distribu-
The rainfall chart (Figure 2, page 9) shows the rainfall pattern for the
years 1978-1984 at the Training Center in the Lower Shebelli. The mean rain-
fall is in solid black and shows the critical rainfall periods from January
to December. The planting period for the Gu season (major rainy season) is


Figure 1.

S= Survey Area

"- = Regional Boundary
S=District Boundary
-= International Boundary

1 cm = 14 miles = 22.4 kilometers
35 miles

112 kilometers

Figure 1.



SI Key:


I -

i / I \
\ ^ 'I '

j--q- 1978
-2-- 1980
o 1981
* -t 1983
j- 1984

Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.




May June July Aug.

from the latter part of March to mid-April, just about 20 days. This can be
seen from the chart. The planting period for the Der season (minor rainy sea-
son) is from the first week of October to the last week of October, also about
20 days. This is also depicted by the chart. Although some farmers plant
beyond these times for Gu and Der seasons, such practice can be very risky,
and needs special management practices which small farmers most invariably
are not well equipped to do.
The heavy rainfall months are April-May in Gu and October-November in
Der. However, April-May rains tend to be heavier than those for October-

2.3. Land Use
Merka and Koryoley Districts in the Lower Shebelli Region contain the six
FEA Units surveyed. Sameisamei, Majabto, Mushani and Gebei are in the Merka
District, while B/Shekh and Farhane are in Koryoley District. Table 1 shows
the land use during the Gu season of 1984. Out of the total cultivable area
of 53,400 ha in Merka District, 28,200 ha (53%) was tilled. Koryoley District
tilled 12,900 ha of its 26,500 ha cultivable area (49%). Thus out of the
total cultivated area of 79,900 ha, 41,100 ha is tilled, just a little over
This tilled area is divided among some major crops produced in the areas.
For each crop the area is further divided into irrigated-and rainfed. Thus,
22,800 ha of irrigated and 1500 ha of rainfed land was under maize production
in the Merka District in the Gu of 1984. Similarly, 10,400 ha of irrigated
and 1500 ha of rainfed land was under maize production in the Koryoley
District in the Gu of 1984. Table 2, page 11, shows the major cropping areas
of both irrigated and rainfed for maize, sesame, cowpea, groundnut and sorghum
for the 1984 Gu season.
The land available in these districts is not only used for crop produc-
tion. Part of it is for livestock grazing, as would be seen from the survey
results. Thus land use in these areas can be broadly divided into crop land
and grazing land.

Table 1. Land use, Merka and Koryoley Districts--Cultivated and tilled area,
Gu 1984.

Cultivated area Tilled area Tilled area as %
in ha in ha of cultivated area

Merka District 53,400 28,200 53

Koryoley District 26,500 12,900 49

Total 79,900 41,100 51

Source: Food Early Warning System (R.E.W.S.) Department.

Table 2. Merka and Koryoley Districts--Major cropping areas, in ha, for
Gu 1984.

Maize Sesame Cowpea Groundnut Sorghum
i r i r i r i r i r

Merka 22800 1500 100 300 200 -

Koryoley 10400 1500 200 100 300 200

i = irrigated; r rainfed.
Source: F.E.W.S. Department


The sampling procedure adopted followed a stratified sampling with
Field Extension Agents (FEAs) units as first stage unit. A systematic
sampling procedure was applied for the selection of the respondents.
Weights were given to the FEA units with large farm families. In all,
six FEA units were selected and 120 farmers sampled out of about 5200
potential farm families. The questionnaires were developed in Somali
language and field tested.
The FEAs were trained for 2 days for the questionnaire administration.
Constant supervision of the FEAs was the watchword. Some questionnaires
were randomly selected for rechecking. The questionnaires were edited in
the field and brought to the NES office for analysis (Table 3, page 13).
Simple averages, tables and percentages were used in the analysis.
Due to pressure for some results, only some selected topics were analyzed
and computer analysis of some sophistication was avoided or at least
deferred for the time being.

Table 3. Sample area and sample size.

Approximate Farmers Questionnaires
FEA unit farm families Weight sampled returned*

Sameisamei 500 .10 12 15

Majabto 425 .08 11 11

Gebei 570 .11 15 17

B/Shekh 650 .12 16 16

Mushani 1015 .20 24 27

Farhane 2038 .39 47 29

Total 5198 1.00 125 115

*The questionnaires returned do not tally with farmers sampled due to tem-
porary movements of some farmers at the time of enumeration. Also, some
of the farm families have dual residence.


"The means of livelihood and household in Developing Countries are inti-
mately linked and cannot be separated because there is a considerable overlap
between the unit of production and the unit of consumption. /The farming
system adopted by a given farming household, therefore, results from its mem-
bers' managerial know-how in allocating the three factors of production (land,
labor, and capital) to which they have access, to three processes (crops,
livestock, and off-farm enterprises), in a manner which within the knowledge
they possess, will maximize the attainment of the goals) for which they are
striving." The farming system is determined by the environment in which the
farming family operates (Farming Systems Research Symposium 1982).
In order to understand the farming family and work with them for the
development of an appropriate technology (compatible with the family), one
needs to understand why the farming family is doing what they are doing. The
first stage is knowing the family characteristics, the norms, roles and con-
ventions existing in that community. The next is the ecology which determines
the implements and other inputs as well as farming practices. There are
others which are mostly outside the farm family's control, for example the
market and credit institutions, and government policies which influence most
of the elements in the farming family's decision making The following
analysis attempts to describe the survey area and identify the farming family
characteristics and the resources available and/or limiting to them.

4.1o Demography
Characteristics of farmers, with respect to age, family size, sex and
marriage are very important in identifying human resources and quality of the
resources available to the farm families. Commercial farming has not permeated
into the fabric of farming systems in Developing Countries. Thus, those char-
acteristics help to understand the strength and capabilities of the farm
families for planning purposes. These characteristics have been summarized
from the survey data.
Table 4, page 15, shows farmer characteristics. The average age of the
farmers surveyed is 49 (Figure 3, page 16). Comparatively, the farmers are
not too oldo In most developing countries the average age of farmers is over
50 years Fifteen percent of the survey were females while 85% were males.
The average family size is a little over 7 people, the common being 8, and

Table 4. Farmer characteristics at the survey, 1985.

FEA Unit Average Sex (%) No. of Marital status
(village) age F M Family size per family Married Single

Sameisamei 54 13 87 5.2 6 100

Majabto 45 13 87 9.0 6 91 9

Gebei 46 13 87 8o0 3 88 12

B/Shekh 47 19 81 6.4 4 100

Mushani 50 13 87 8.0 6 100

Farhane 52 17 83 8.0 6 86 14

average 49 15 85 7.4 5.2 94 6

Figure 3. Breakdown of Farmers by Age Division in Lower Shebelli Region.

No. of Farmers

35- -

8 farmers


21 farmers


28 farmers


34 farmers

I 51-60
Age group

2 farmers



the average number of children per family is a little above 5, the common
being 60 Ninety-four percent of the survey are married and 6% are not.
The importance of age and family size cannot be overemphasized. In
developing countries family labor is defined as the main and fixed input. It
constitutes over 70% of the total inputs. Hence, the quality and sources may
determine the size of farm and thus the income of the family1 The older the
farmers, the more quality and modernization suffer. Thus tradition can be a
hindrance to modernization if most of the farmers are too old. With the
above average age and family size, it should not be difficult to introduce
labor intensive technology, provided management time is well organized

4o20 Land Holding
In an agricultural system where labor constitutes the major input, farm
size and family labor are highly correlated. Thus, in the traditional farm-
ing system where labor is the main input, increasing output means increasing
land area for farming, and hence labor size and quality, all things being
equal. Land holding in Developing Countries is usually an indicator of the
political power The bigger the land holding, the more powerful the holder
is to the community0
Table 5, page 18, shows land holding in the survey area. It also shows
the average number of fields per farmer and the average field size The
table shows percentage of farmers holding land of different sizes, by FEA
unit, On the whole, 91% of the farmers surveyed hold land between 1 and 5
hectares, 1% hold 6-10 hectares, 2o hold 11-20 hectares, while 6% hold over
20 hectares, Mushani and Sameisamei areas have fairly large holdings, with
a much narrower range All farmers surveyed in Gebei and B/Shekh hold land
between 1 and 5 hectares. Farhane has holders of all sizes,
For planning purposes, the above divisions will assist in establishing
'priorities for categorizing farmers, The larger the farm size, the more in-
puts are needed. It should not be overlooked that the more fields owned by a
farmer and the more they are scattered, the more management time and organiza-
tion the farmer requires for an efficient and effective use of his/her
resources, With an average of 2 fields and 3 hectares per field at the sur-
vey area, careful planning is needed to get farmers to participate in on-farm
research A farmer may be tied down to one field while the researcher
expects him/her to take care of the other field.

1Family here means father wife(s) and children
Family here means father, wife(s) and children

Table 5. Land Holding at the survey area, 1985.

Percent of farmers Average Average
(Number) of farmers no. of field size
FEA Unit 1-5 6-10 11-20 Over fields in ha
ha ha ha 21 ha

Sameisamei 80 7 13 2 4
(12) (1) (2)

Majabto 91 9 2 55
(10) (1)

Gebei 100 2.0 1

B/Shekh 100 1o25 1

Mushani 88 4 8 1 4 504
(23) (1) (2)

Farhane 86 4 7 3 2.2 2.8
(25) (1) (2) C6

Avo Total 91 1 2 6 2 303


5,1, Cropping System
Understanding the cropping system prevailing in an area is necessary in
order to appreciate how farmers utilize their resources in producing food
and fiber. In mixed farming studies, it is pertinent to know input-output
analysis of the enterprises in question. Knowing the cropping system helps
to develop a model where plant crop output might be used as input in animal
cropping enterprise, and how the residue and power of the animal as output
can be used as input for the plant cropping, thus completing the cycle.
Tables 6a and 6b, pages 20 and 21, show plant and animal cropping at
the survey area. The results of the survey in Table 6a show that 75% of the
farmers practice monocropping while 25% intercrop maize-cowpea, maize-sesame
and sesame-tomatoes. Most invariably maize-cowpea are intercropped during
the Gu season while maize-sesame and sesame-tomatoes are intercropped or
relay cropped in the Der season. Although the percentage of farmers prac-
ticing intercropping or relay cropping is not very high, at some villages,
especially Mushani area, the majority of the farmers (69%) intercrop. The
cite specificity nature of agricultural production demands that researchers
recognize such situations as prevailing in Mushani.
Table 6b, page 21, and Figure 4, page 22, show animal cropping in the
survey area. Fifty-four percent of the farmers raise cattle, 22% raise
sheep, 19% raise chickens, and 14% raise goats. Only 2% of the farmers
raise camels. From this table one can see that some animals are much more
important in some village areas. The average number of cattle per farmer is
7 while the average number for sheep and chickens are 3. On the whole, 72%
of the farmers in the survey area have livestock.
This piece of information is pertinent for planning the development of
appropriate technology. It is seen in the tables that livestock plays an
important role in the farming systems of the villages surveyed. Hence, any
study that ignores this fact will not be complete in describing resource
utilization and agricultural production in these areas. In calculating crop
production and consumption, such information will help one to recognize that
some part of the plant or animal crop is used on the farm as input. See
Table 7, page 23.

1Cropping here includes plant and animal enterprises.

Table 6a. Plant cropping systems in the survey area, 1985.

Percent Percent
farmers farmers
FEA Unit monocropping intercropping Crops intercropped




Maize & cowpea

Maize & cowpea

Maize & sesame (Gu)
Maize & cowpea (Gu)
Sesame & maize (Der)

Maize & cowpea (Gu)
Maize & sesame (Der)

Maize & cowpea (Gu)
Sesame & tomatoes (Der)

Maize & sesame




Av Total Maize & cowpea (Gu)
Maize & sesame (Der)
__ \ ____ ___ ^ _ .

Table 6b. Animal cropping systems in the survey area, 1985o

Percentage of farmers raising Average no of animals/farmer
FEA Unit Cattle Sheep Goats Camel Chicken Cattle Sheep Goats Camel Chicken

Sameisamei 60 67 6 14 9 -

Majabto 64 18 18 64 12 3 1 5

Gebei 35 24 35 1 1 2 -

B/Shekh 75 13 19 6 4 1 1 4

Mushani 23 8 23 1 6

Farhane 66 14 14 7 21 8 1 4

Av, Total 54 22 14 2 19 7 3 .5 3

Animal Production in the Survey Area.




.3 __ _ __ _ L __ _ 1









, of

10- -




Figure 4.

Table 7. Animal feeding at the survey area, 1985.

Type of feed and % farmers
FEA Unit Grass Stalk Bait Fodder Free range Potatoes

Sameisamei 80 53 73 7 -

Majabto 75 55 45 18 27 18

Gebei 59 41 12 6 6

B/Shekh 81 81 19 6

Mushani 19 19 23 8 15

Farhane 76 72 52 10

Av. Total* 65 54

One farmer may feed his/her
the totals do not add up to


animals with more




two types


of feed. Thus


5.2. Plant Crop Production
Ancillary to a cropping system is the type of crops grown by farmers.
There are over 8 crops grown at the survey area. However, some of them are
more prevalent than others. There are some crops that are not classified as
major but were found at the survey area to be (much) more prevalent than
some classified crops. Example, mung-beans and groundnut are classified as
major crops. However, at the survey area watermelon and tomatoes, which are
not in the classification, prevail more than the former.
Table 8, page 25, shows the major crops grown at the survey area. All
farmers grow maize. About 37% of the farmers grow maize only in the Gu
season, and 63% grow it in both Gu and Der seasons. Ninety percent grow
sesame, mostly in the Der season. Over 25% grow cowpea, especially in Gu
season when it is intercropped with maize. Groundnut is grown only at
Majabto area and only 18% of the farmers there cultivate the crop, About
10% of the farmers in the survey grow watermelon. This crop is grown in 4
of the 6 villages surveyed. Tomato is next to cowpea at the survey area.
All but one of the areas grow the crop. Over 20% of the farmers grow
tomatoes. Ranking the crops in order of importance, maize is definitely
the most important crop, followed by sesame. The next in order is cowpea,
followed closely by tomatoes, and then watermelon. Groundnut ranks last in
this area.
Much as the Project emphasizes 6 crops (maize, sesame, cowpea, mung-
beans, sorghum and groundnut), some consideration should probably be given
to such crops as tomato and watermelon which the farmers, in the survey
area, deem to be more lucrative. These new found crops are grown mostly in
the Der season when rainfall is erratic and unreliable. In order to get
farmer cooperation during the Der season, it may be advisable to include in
the Plan of Work what the farmers' cropping system includes during the
season. These crops may be a big source of income to the farmer, consider-
ing the commercial importance the farmer places on them,

Table 8. Percent of farmers growing some selected crops at the survey area, 1985.

Ground- Water-
Maize Sesame Cowpea nut melon Tomato
FEA Unit Gu & Gu & Gu &
Gu Der Gu Der Der Gu Der Der Gu Der Gu Der Gu Der

Sameisamei 14 86 79 14 14 21 7 7

Majabto 36 64 100 9 9 18 9 9 9 18

Gebei 41 59 65 6 12 -

B/Shekh 50 50 6 94. 38 6 6 -

Mushani 35 65 100 70 4 4 12 12 50

Farhane 45 55 97 3 10 7 14

Av. Total

37 63

1 89 3.3

21.5 4

1.5 1.5 1 9

5.3 15

--------- -- ---- ------------~~-.~c~c~.c~-=;2 .~-~ ~~~,

1 ~13*n~Paar~r~:u;~u-u4~r. ~-- ^~~ll'll--~CII~---


6.1. Land Preparation
In an area where rainfall is very scarce, land preparation is as impor-
tant as any agronomic practice. In such areas, irrigation is the most reliable
source of water. For irrigation to be effective, the land must be level and
porous enough to allow water to get to all areas where the crops are grown.
Plant growth and some agronomic practices depend on proper land preparation.
Table 9, page 27, shows the land preparation at the survey area. About
92% of the farmers use the tractor in land preparation. Only 8% use the
yambo (hoe) for land preparation. Out of the 92% using the tractor, only
3.3% own the equipment, while 96.7% rent it. The average cost of plowing a
hectare with tractor is 1302/-,* while the average cost of plowing a hectare
with yambo is 1748/-. It takes an average of 3 hours to plow a hectare with
a tractor, at the cost of about 434/- per hour. It costs an average of 861/-
to harrow a hectare; however, farmers virtually do not harrow their land with
the tractor. It takes 1 man-day per jibal to prepare land with the yambo at
an average cost of about 80/- per man-day. The average cost of plowing and
harrowing a hectare with a tractor is 2163/-.
The above information is useful in crop production planning as well as
budgeting and profitability analysis of the farming operation. Policy-wise,
comparison between use of tractor and yambo helps to identify the limiting
factor in increasing size of farm. The information shows that farmers who
plow with yambo spend an extra 400/- per hectare if labor is not from the
family. If labor is supplied by the family, then the 1748/- becomes part of
family income or the opportunity cost of family labor. However, where family
labor is limited, this cost could be prohibitive. More so, it is too labori-
ous using yambo for land preparation.

6.2. Planting
Planting is one of the most important operations in plant crop produc-
tion. The type of seed and the mode of planting contribute very significantly
to the amount harvested. As the old saying goes, "You reap what you sow."
How many seeds per hill and the planting distance between hills affect main-
tenance operations and also yield.
Over 60% of the farmers in the survey use local seeds which they either
get from their own farms or from friends or both. Over 39% use improved

At prices existing in February/March 1985.

Table 9. Land preparation at the Survey Area, 1985.

Percent farmers Ownership Avo cost of using Tractor
using (%) tractor time Yambo
FEA Unit per/ha per/ha Man-days Cost/ .
Tiactor Yambo Animal Rent Own Plowing Harrowing Hrs/ha per jibal jibal Cost/ha

Sameisamei 93 7 -.. 100 1264o3/- 982/- 3 2 120/- 3840/-

Majabto 91 9 82 9 1116.67/- 3 1 80/- 1280/-

Gebei 82 18 82 973.5/- 3 1 57/- 912/-

B/Shekh 100 100 1689o2/- 3 -

Mushani 100 93 7 1200/- 1000/- 3 -

Farhane 86 14 86 1570/- 600/- 4 1 60/- 960/-

- 89 3 1302.3/- 861/-

---C~-C~~P-I---~-I~-----~*----------- -LI~LYLI-L


92 8

Avo Total

3 1 79.25/- 1748/-

seeds, either exchanged or secured freely from some agency of the Ministry
of Agriculture. Over 85% indicate they plant in rows, and 14% plant at
random. Most often maize is planted at 3 seeds per hill and 1 kilogram per
jibal. A kilogram of maize costs, on the average, a little over 20/- (see
Table 10, page 29) /
A good area for comparison trial of improved seed and plant population
is Farhaneo It is followed by Gebei, B/Shekh and Mushanis Majabto is obvi-
ously not a good place for such trials. Mushani or Sameisamei could be
places to do row planting trials. Thus Mushani might have two trials of
improved seed/plant population, and row planting.

6s3. Weeding
After germination, the farmer gets into the crucial moment of maintain-
ing the plants till they mature and ripen. The most important operation in
maintenance is weed control. In a labor intensive traditional agriculture,
weeding by hand is the practice. Weeding at the right time helps plant
growth and in pest control, as well as ease of irrigation. Untimely weeding
may be costly, since this may lead to weeds competing with the crops for
plant food and sunshine, thus dwarfing the crops and eventually retarding
their growth and yield
Table 11, page 30, shows weeding practices at the survey area. One
hundred percent use yambo in weeding Seventy-one percent of the farmers
surveyed weed their fields 3 times, 21% weed 2 times, and about 8% even weed
4 times It takes 1 man-day to weed a jibal (1/16 of a hectare) at an aver-
age cost of 98/- per man-day.
Table 11 shows that if there should be a trial in which weeding is the
major treatment, Majabto is a good place for such a study, followed by
Samesamei. Obviously B/Shekh is not a good place for such a study since the
farmers there weed their fields frequently. On the whole, weeding practices
at the survey area are encouraging and normal0

6.4o Fertilizer Use
One of the most important chemicals ever developed for farming is
fertilizer. When this chemical was developed, agricultural historians
thought the Malthusian Theory had been disproved. Fertilizer has come to
replace land, such that land that usually produced one ton of, say, maize
before can now produce over 3 tons. The use of this chemical was beginning
to get to the small farmer in Developing Countries when in the early 700s
the price of oil soared the price of fertilizer which rendered Developing

Table 100 Planting (input use) at the survey area, 1985.

Type of seed Source Mode of planting Seeds planted

FEA Unit rOwn farm Exten- (percentage) Yambo & kg/ Seed/ Cost/
Local Imprd. & friends sion Rows Brdcsto Yambo brdcsto Jibal hill kg

Sameisamei 40 60 40 60 80 20 1 3 17/-

Majabto 27 73 27 73 100 1 3 25/-

Gebei 77 23 77 23 100 0,6 3 23/-

B/Shekh 69 31 69 31 87 13 1 3 19/-

Mushani 67 33 67 33 63 18.5 185 1 3

Farhane 83 17 83 17 83 17 1 14 4 18/-

Av. Total 60.5 39.5 60o5 39.5 85.5 8 6.5 1 3 20.4/-
-- ---- --- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- --i

Table 110 Weeding at survey area, 1985.

% Weeding by
% Using % Using % Using farmer (times) Cost per Man-day per
FEA Unit yambo tractor animal 2 3 4 man-day jibal

Sameisamei 100 40 47 13 98/- 1

Majabto 100 45 55 96/- 1

Gebei 100 18 82 101/- 1

B/Shekh 100 81 19 96/- 1

Mushani 100 7 85 7 96/- 1

Farhane 100 14 76 10 100/- 1

Total 100 21 71 8 98/- 1

Countries incapable of sustaining its importation. Even though fertilizers
are used in Developing Countries, they still are an input for the rich farm-
er. The survey demonstrated that fertilizers are not easy to obtain,
Table 12, page 32, shows that only 7.5% of the respondents use some
fertilizer (urea) and even those who use it do not get enough. Most of the
farmers (92.5%) do not use fertilizers. It could be seen from Table 12 that
Gebei and Mushani areas do not use fertilizer at all. Thus it is not advis-
able to do fertilizer trials in the farmers' fields at these villages.
Perhaps Sameisamei and B/Shekh are the two areas where fertilizer trials on
farmers' fields are meaningful. All the farmers in the survey expressed
acute scarcity of the chemical.
Use of fertilizers in experiments and trials shows attractive results.
So, most researchers are tempted to advocate for fertilizers in their field
trials. There are no qualms about that, provided the farmers have been using
it, or would get access to it if they come to adopt the practice.

6o.5 Use of Insecticide
Allied with increasing production by using fertilizer is disease control
by using insecticide. Disease and pests can destroy the efforts of ferti-
lizers. Thus it is equally important to guard against pests and disease
attack of crops. Which input (fertilizer or insecticide) is important depends
on the gravity of damage by the insects/disease and the availability and cost
of the input. It also depends mostly on what importance farmers place on the
crops these insects/diseases attack and cost effectiveness of the use of the
chemicals. Maize and sorghum in Somalia are the main foods, and sesame is
the main source of income in plant crop farming. Thus farmers will take all
necessary precautions against destruction of these crops by insects/disease.
It was seen at the survey area that 74% use insecticides but did not get
enough so only 52% apply them twice, even though they all would have liked to
have applied them twice. The main chemicals used are Basudin (44%) and
Durisban (30%). Eighty-six-and-a-half percent of the farmers find it diffi-
cult to obtain the insecticide--at the average cost of 67.25/- per kg (Table
13, page 33).
The picture shown in Table 13 reveals that farmers in Mushani use very
little insecticides. It is suggested, therefore, that this area is a viable
place for comparison trial of the use of the chemicals. The next area will
be Gebei, The assumption is that insect and disease damage exists in all the
areas surveyed.

Table 12. Use of fertilizers at the survey area, 1985.

... / = _, ' -- : = --,---- -- -- ,'-'-- -- ', -" .. .. .. = = .. '
No. of applic. Difficulty
% Farmers Type by % farmers Source getting Cost/
(amount) Banana
FEA Unit Yes No Urea Other 1 Over 1 Co-ops Mkto plan- Yes No kg

Sameisamei 13 87 13 7 6 13 100 8.75/-
(6.25 kg/jibal)

Majabto 9 91 9 -- 9 9 100 8/-
(6.25 kg/jibal)

Gebei 100 100 -

B/Shekh 13 87 13 6 7 13 100 6.5/-
(2.3 kg/jibal)

Mushani 100 100 -

Farhane 10 90 10 7 3 3.3 3.3 3.3 100 7.0/-
(5.2 kg/jibal)

Av. Total

7.5 92.5


3.3 4.2
(303 kg/jibal)


.5 3



~ ~ --M~.I-~-I-- ~I ~I~------~-~ -----------

Table 13. Use of insecticides at the survey area, 1985o

Number of
applications Amt/ Cost/ Difficulty
% Farmers ype by % farmers getting
FEA Unit Yes No Duris- Basu- Over 1 jibal kg Yes No
ban din
% grams %

Sameisamei 87 13 87 7 80 267 81 5/- 100

Majabto 82 18 73 9 55 27 14.7 61/- 91 9

Gebei 76 24 70 6 47 27 109 75/- 100

B/Shekh 94 6 13 81 6 88 106 63/- 38 62

Mushani 15 85 11 4 7 187.5 80/- 100

Farhane 90 10 10 79 7 83 219 43/- 90 10

Av. Total 74 26 10 44 22 52 151 67.25/- 86.5 13.5

The rate at which the farmers in the survey area use the chemical indi-
cates that disease and insect damage to their crops is alarming. It also
shows that farmers prefer maintaining the amount they can produce (with their
local practices) to increasing output by the use of fertilizers, which to
them is difficult to obtain. Thus farmers' action confirms the socio-economic
study hypothesis which states that farmers will adopt a new practice if it is
for their own interest.
See also Table 14, page 35.

6.6 Harvesting
Harvesting constitutes a major farm operation. Early or timely harvest-
ing can prevent crop damage and weight loss. In discussing labor needs,
harvesting labor ranked second. Most of the crops ripen at the same time, so
labor is occupied during this time. However, harvesting cost is quite differ-
ent from maintenance and planting costs.
Table 15, page 36, shows that it takes 1 man-day or less to harvest a
jibal at an average cost of 31/-. The yield per jibal at the survey area is
92 kg, while that for a hectare is 1467 kg, On the average, therefore,
farmers at the survey area are able to crop over 14.5 quintals from a hectare.
In fact, the median at the survey area is 15 quintals.
Taking the FEA units one after the other, it could be seen from Table
15 that Sameisamei has the lowest yield per field area, followed by Gebei.
Majabto and Mushani have similar yield per field area. The most impressive
areas are B/Shekh and Farhane, the two in Koryoley District, Coincidentally,
the two areas have similar cost of harvesting. Majabto and Mushani, again,
have similar cost of harvesting. However, Gebei has the least cost.
Relating yield to practices and input use, one can see from Table 15
that even though Sameisamei is classified as number 3 above traditional
family practices, it has the least yield. Mushani is classified in the tra-
ditional farming stage with little improved practices, yet its yield is about
65% more than Sameisamei. This, therefore, explains why traditional farmers
could be more economical than improved farmers.

Table 14. Source of insecticides used by farmers at the survey area, 1985.

Source by per cent farmers

Neigh- Exten-
FEA Unit Market ADC ONAT bor Co-ops sion

Sameisamei 60 26 -

Majabto 36 36 9 -

Gebei 71 6 -

B/Shekh 44 37 13

Mushani 7 4 -

Farhane 79 4 4 4

Av, Total 50 4 8 2 7 3

Table 15. Harvesting at the survey area, 1985.

FEA Unit







Av. yield/







Av. yield/







Av. man-day/

Av. cost/







Av. Total 92 1467 1 31

____I__~____ ___~I__ 1_______ ~____11____1_ 1_11_______ ~________11_1____ _1___1_1
_ 1___ ____1_11_1_1____~_____ 1__ _~_______~_1----~- ___-_I-1-----1-I-_ Il~__~~~___~_P---- .-




In most developing countries where traditional farming is prevalent,
labor constitutes over 70% of all the inputs. This is so because the farmers
use simple tools, often made by the local blacksmith, which is labor inten-
sive. Thus the size of field is directly related to amount of farm labor
available. Yet in traditional society family size tends to be high. The
paradox is that most traditional farmers complain about labor shortage (or
need for more hands) while at the same time they have large family size,
This paradox may be explained by looking at the situation from the point of
view of when labor is needed and for what activities in the field.
Table 16, page 38, shows labor requirement at the survey area, The
activities where labor is mostly needed in the order of importance, are weed-
ing, harvesting, planting, threshing and irrigation. Labor is virtually
scarce in all the survey areas. The time when labor is needed most is during
weeding or maintenance and during harvest times, Demand and supply prices do
not meet, thus the supply and demand curve for labor do not intersect. This
probably explains why labor is scarce at the survey area. Taking each head-
ing one after the other, Table 16 reveals that the average extra man-days
needed for weeding at the survey area are 12, harvesting are 7, planting are
5 and for threshing are 3. One man-day is needed for irrigation. All the
farmers in the 6 areas except Majabto said labor is very scarce. Almost all
the farmers need labor during weeding and maintenance, and during harvesting
periods. In the Gu season labor would accept an average of not less than
100/- per man-day while farmers are prepared to pay 78/-o This big gap be-
tween supply and demand for labor may be the cause of small holdings of
farmers. /Labor supply and demand in the Der season is not as bleak as in the
Gu season, however, supply and demand for the input do not meet, The reason
for this difference in labor needs between the two seasons may be that during
the Gu when rainfall constitutes a major source of water for the crops,
everybody is .busy cultivating his/her land. Virtually nobody is available to
be hired. However, in the Der season, activities slow down and some farmers
can afford to offer their services, as the opportunity cost of their labor is
probably lower in their farms than renting it out. On the whole, therefore,
labor can be said to be the major constraining factor of production in the
traditional farming even though family size is relatively higher.
In planning any agricultural delivery system, one needs to know the
resources that are available to the clients (farmers) and those that are con-
straining. In the case of the survey area under discussion, the problem is

Table 16, Labor requirement and cost at the survey area, 1985.

Time labor is
Extra labor needs needed by % Demand and supply price
.. (amount in man-days) Labor farmers for labor (in SooSho)
FEA Unit Plant- Weed- Irri- Har- Thresh- scarcity Weed- and Gu Der
ing ing gation vest ing (%) ing thresh Supply Demand Supply Demand

Sameisamei 6 13 2 7 3 100 100 33 93 73 88 70

Majabto 4 9 7 3 82 64 64 80 70 68 66

Gebei 4 10 1 5 1 100 94 42 97 75 75 61

B/Shekh 7 16 6 100 100 94 114 102 100 81

Mushani 4 11 2 9 8 100 100 100 127 72 86 55

Farhane 4 12 0.5 6 1 100 100 38 98 74 83 63

Avo Total 5 12 1 7 3 97 93 62 101,5 78 83 66


made much more complex because most of the farmers use tractor for land.pre-
paration. It is possible that the use of tractor has enabled the farmers to
clear a bigger field than their labor can maintain. In such a situation it
is such technology as chemical (weedicides) or mechanical (simple hand
operated machine) that can alleviate the labor problem. It is therefore
suggested that either or both technologies be tried to see their applica-
bility and acceptance, to help reduce labor problem in the areas.


Production is complete when the produce reaches the consumer Marketing
is as important as production. In commercial agriculture there will be no
production if there is no outlet for disposing the crops produced. In fact,
prices are the best indicators for producers. The higher the price the more
the farmer is prepared to grow more produce, all things being equal. In the
past it was believed that subsistence farmers were not price responsive,
especially the African export crop producers. All these theories have been
proven to be wrong and without base. What is important to know and understand
is what subsistence means. Subsistence as described in this survey is where
the producer consumes over 50% of his/her total produce A producer may be
subsistence in say maize but not in sesame and tomatoes he/she produces.
Hence, in a country where several crops are produced by the same farmer
simultaneously, it is hard to determine whether the farmer is subsistence or
semi-subsistence or commercial. The argument becomes more complicated when
the farmer. feeds part of his/her produce to his/her livestock which are mostly
sold in the market0
Table 17, page 41, shows storage and marketing at the survey area. Only
22% store all they produce, 78% store part of their produce. Most of their
produce is stored underground and the rest in tanks. It was not disclosed
what they store the produce for, but it is probable that those who store all
they produce do that for home consumption and for feeding livestock and pro-
bably for replanting (seeds). Those who store part of their produce probably
do that to capture higher prices and for using as seeds, mostly," even though
some may be consumed at home or used for feeding animals. These- latter pro-
ducers have "marketed surplus." The average quantity sold per farmer is about
5.5 quintals and is sold at an average price of 1563/- per quintalo About
98% of the produce sold is transacted at the open market. Farmers in Farhane
sell the largest quantity per farmer at the next highest price. B/Shekh sell
the second largest quantity per farmer at the highest price. These two areas
are in the Koryoley District. Prices are lowest in Mushani and Majabto even
though the two places sell most of their produce. Perhaps they sell mostly
at the local market, at 2 quintall unshelled produce, at an equivalent value
of 1 quintal shelled produce* Such areas may need price information and
other storage practices.
*Some farmers do not shell their maize before selling. In this case 2 quin-
tals unshelled maize is equivalent to 1 quintal shelled maize. Such produce
may not be dry enough. So the risk of weevil attack and storage are trans-
ferred to the buyer.

Storage and marketing at the survey area, 1985o

Average quantity, value and
Per cent farmers storing produce place quantity, value and
_^____ _______________ place of produce sold/farmer*
Store Store Quan- Value Place produce is sold
FEA Unit Store Store under- in Other tity in in SoSh. Open
all part ground tanks storage kg /100 kg market A.D.Co State Other

Sameisamei 20 80 93 7 467 1652 100

Majabto 18 82 64 36 554 1284 88 12

Gebei 59 41 100 300 1660 100 -

B/Shekh 13 87 94 6 693 1957 100 -

Mushani 11 89 63 37 500 1125 100 -

Farhane 10 90 97 3 758 1762 100 -

Av. Total 21.8 78.2 85.2 13.7 0.1 545.3 1563033 98.0 2 -

*Average per farmer.

Table 17.


Inputs are sometimes called factors of production in agricultural pro-
duction economics. Availability and efficient use of these inputs constitute
the major topics in Agricultural Economics. Thus it is important to identify
the resources (also called factors of production) that are available to
farmers. In the survey area, five main inputs or resources were identified
(in fact there were more than five inputs or resources) as being used by
farmers, namely, fertilizer, insecticide, seed, land and labor.
Table 18, page 43, shows that only 7.5% of the respondents use ferti-
lizer (urea). Seventy-four percent of the farmers use insecticide. The two
common insecticides used are Durisban and Basudin. More than 60% of the farm-
ers use local seeds while about 40% use some improved seeds. Most of the
farmers hold land between 1 and 5 hectares (91%); only 8% of the farmers hold
land over 10 hectares. Average field size is 3.3 hectares, but the median is
1.5 hectares. Labor constitutes a major input at the survey area. It is
important because it is the only input that has a reservation price. Without
labor, all the other inputs cannot produce anything. Average number of help-
ing hands available per family farm is 6, while the amount needed per family
farm is 12. Thus the farm families can supply only 50% of the labor
requirement. Perhaps this explains why demand and supply for labor never
meet. In the traditional farming where labor constitutes the major input,
shortage of labor means small field size and hence lower output.
Taking the analysis by FEA units, it can be seen that in Sameisamei 87%
do not use fertilizer but 87% use some insecticide. Sixty percent use improved
seeds while 40% use local seeds. Most of the farmers have field size between
1 and 5 hectares (80%). However, a significant \number of farmers have field
size 10 hectares and over, and the average field size is 4 hectares. Labor
need is 13 while only 7 is available.
Majabto area uses fewer fertilizer than Sameisamei (9%). Virtually all
the farmers do not use it. However, a sizable number of farmers use insecti-
cide (82%). Most of the farmers use improved seeds (73%). Even though 91%
of the farmers have field size between 1-5 hectares, the average field size
is 5.5 hectares. This is due to very large field sizes of the 9% who hold
over 10 hectares. Majabto's labor needs and supply are not as acute as most
of the villages even though there is still a gap of 5. Gebei area does not

Table 18. Summary of some selected inputs at the survey area, 1985.

Use of fertilizer Use of insecticide Land holding
and type by % and type by % Type of by % farmers
farmers farmers seed used (in hectares) Labor
(use) (type) (use) (type) Av. Amt.
Over field Amto avail-
FEA Unit Yes No Urea Yes No D'ban B'din Local Imprvd 1-5 6-10 10 size needed able

Sameisamei 13 87 13 87 13 87 40 60 80 20 4 13 7

Majabto 9 91 9 82 18 73 9 27 73 91 9 5.5 12 7

Gebei 100 76 24 70 6 77 23 100 1 8 4

B/Shekh 13 87 13 94 6 13 81 69 31 100 1 11 5

Mushani 100 15 85 11 67 33 88 4 8 5.4- -4 7

Farhane 10 90 10 90 10 10 79 83 17 86 4 10 2.8 12 7

Av. Total 7.5 92.5 7.5 74 26 30 44 60.5 39.5 91 1 8 3.3 .12 6

use fertilizer; however 76% of the respondents.use insecticide and 77% use
local seeds. All the farmers in this area have fields 1-5 hectares and the
average field size is 1 hectare. The farmers are able to supply 50% of their
labor requirement. B/Shekh and Farhane have similar use of fertilizer and
insecticides. About 90% of the farmers in both villages do not use fertili-
zer but over 90% use insecticides. They differ in the use of improved seeds
and land holding. While 69% of B/Shekh farmers use local seeds, 83% of
Farhane's use local seeds. While all the farmers hold land between 1-5 in
B/Shekh, a sizable number of farmers in Farhane hold over 10 hectares (10%).
Thus the average field sizes are 1 and 2.8 hectares, respectively. B/Shekh
can meet only 46% of its labor needs while Farhane can meet 58% of its
needs. Mushani is unique in the use of fertilizer and insecticide. All the
farmers do not use fertilizer and only 15% use insecticides. Sixty-seven
per cent use local seeds and 88% have land size between 1 and 5 hectares.
However, the 8% who have over 10 hectares have increased the average field
size to 5.4 hectares. On the whole, it can meet just 50% of its labor


Use of inputs and farmers' practices constitute the major part of the
farming system existing in an area. These two major factors determine the
type of crops and how they are produced. The other factors are mostly con-
trolled by some exogenous elements such as government and the ecology. Thus
knowing the farming practices and the input used help to understand the
farming system existing in a place.
The most common practices in the survey area are cropping system, mode
of planting, maintenance and disease control Table 19, page 46, shows that
75% of the respondents monocrop while 25% intercrop. Over 85% plant in rows,
8% broadcast and over 6% plant with yamboo As regards maintenance, 21% weed
their field twice, 71% thrice and 8% four times (all with yambo)o Twenty-two
per cent apply insecticides once while 52% apply them more than once; about
26% do not use insecticides at all. The average rate of application is 151
grams per jibal.
Taking the discussion village by village, it can be seen from Table 19
that 69% of Mushani farmers intercrop. On the other hand 93% each of Samei-
samei and Farhane farmers monocrop. The rest have fairly similar cropping
patterns. All the farmers surveyed in Majabto and Gebei plant in rows.
With the exception of Mushani the rest of the farmers surveyed have identical
mode of planting, mostly in rows. Most farmers in the survey weed three
times. However, Sameisamei and Majabto farmers fall a little behind in
weeding. Gebei and Majabto mostly treat their crops once while B/Shekh,
Farhane and Sameisamei mostly treat their crops more than once.
The above piece of information can be used as a guide in developing
trials that involve practices. Thus if one wants to show that planting in
rows has advantages over random planting, Mushani is the best place for
this comparison trial. In the same token, Mushani is the best place to do
intercropping trials

Table 19. Summary of some selected activities in the survey area, 1985.

Cropping Mode of planting Times weeded by Application of insecticide
system by % farmers farmers (in %) by % farmers
FEA Unit Mono. Inter. Rows Brdcst. Yambo 2 3 4 1 Over 1 jibal

Sameisamei 93 7 80 20 40 47 13 7 80 267

Majabto 82 18 100 45 55 55 27 14.7

Gebei 76 24 100 18 82 47 27 109

B/Shekh 75 25 87 13 81 19 6 88 106

Mushani 31 69 63 18.5 18.5 7 85 7 4 7 187o5

Farhane 93 7 83 17 14 76 10 7 83 219

Av. Total 75 25 85o5 8 6.5 21 71 8 22 52 151


We have discussed at length the resources available to farmers, as well
as farmers' practices in the previous sections. We now turn to the problems
of increasing output by the farmers surveyed. This topic is important be-
cause farmers were asked to Toice out the problems that hinder them from
increasing their output. There were many problems identified by the farmers
surveyed, However, some of them occurred frequently in all the farmers
answers These problems are termed constraints and are tabulated in Table
20, page 48.
Seventy-one percent of the farmers surveyed said lack of credit is one
of the constraints of increasing output. Ninety-five percent said they did
not get credit of any kind. However, only 71% said this was a problem. Per-
haps the most critical constraint is land preparation equipment. Considering
the hard clayey nature of the soil, using yambo in land preparation is very
laborious and time consuming. Thus 83% of the farmers surveyed needed
tractor very badly for land preparation. Akin to tractor was fuel problem;
48% said fuel was a big problem in their farming activities. Water is very
essential in farming in Somalia. Some farmers have pumps, wells, and canals
for supplying water to their farms. Others do not have any of these, indi-
vidually, but own them communally. The availability of all these water
channels does not mean the water is there. Constant droughts, especially
during Der season, cause erratic supply of water and thus farm output Thus
78% of the farmers said water for irrigation was a big constraining factor
in their production process. One major problem facing farmers in the survey
area is pests/diseases. Thus 74% of the respondents said non-availability of
insecticides was a big problem, Sixty-six percent of the farmers said lack
of fertilizers has contributed to the low output In the previous sections
labor was discussed extensively as a scarce resource. However, when farmers
were asked to enumerate their problems, labor ranked last in importance among
the selected answers by farmers. Only 34% of the respondents said labor is a
big constraint in increasing output.
Thus, in treating resource availability individually, one may be tempted
to rank a resource as very limiting. However, in treating resources together
as a group, one will be able to see how that resource is viewed by the users
alongside other resources This way of looking at constraints helps to
identify the major ones as they interact with others

Table 20, Farmers' constraints at the survey area, 1985.

Constraints by % farmers
Irrigo Insect- Ferti-
FEA Units Credit Fuel Tractor water icide lizer Labor

Sameisamei 1 93 100 80 100 80 53

Majabto (91) 27 55 100 55 27 18

Gebei 100 88 82 94 82 6

B/Shekh 75 56 94 69 13 50 44
B/Shekh (94)

Mushani 930 67 67 96 92 52

Farhane 93 35 93 69 83 62 28

Av. Total 71 48 83 78 74 66 34

*Figures in parentheses show % farmers who do not get credit, while those
without parentheses show % farmers who said credit or the resource is a
big constraint.



The results of the diagnostic survey conducted for planning on-farm
research demonstrated some unique characteristics associated with the FEA
(Field Extension Agent) units surveyed. The main indicators for this
categorization are types and levels of input use, and farming practices.
This approach was used because the whole area falls under one big domain--
irrigated zone--and the farmers grow identical crops. Moreover, they all
practice the same religion--Islam--and speak the same language--Somali.
The main distinguishing factors are types, levels and use of inputs and
ways of cultivating the identical crops. It was found legitimate, there-
fore, to identify and categorize the farmers into some homogeneous groups
by using the above indicators
Three main domains were identified, namely:
Io Traditional Stage or First Stage
II. Transitional Stage or Second Stage
IIIo Improved Stage or Third Stage.
See Figure 5, page 50.
The names coined for the domains are just to show the level of develop-
ment in production. The reader may be warned that the authors do not mean
that the traditional stage domain produces less than, say, transitional
stage It is most probable that a farmer in the traditional stage is pro-
portionately more economical in total production than a farmer in the
improved stage Also, an FEA unit may not fit neatly in one domain. Table
21, page 51, shows the spread of the FEA units in the Recommendation
Domains. FEA units such as Sameisamei, Majabto and Mushani fit into the
categorizations pretty well, while Farhane, B/Shekh and Gebei are fairly
spread through two or more stages. Classification of the surveyed area has
been suggested below, based on input use and practices.
Mushanio,'-Mushani farmers are mostly traditional in their use of inputs
and practices. Most of the farmers do not use insecticide, fertilizer, and
improved seeds. They also practice intercropping or relay cropping and
plant at random, The suggested categorization is the Traditional Stage.
Gebeio--This FEA unit has moved a little up above Mushanio At least,
most of the farmers do row planting and only about 25% practice intercropping/
relay cropping during the Der season. The common practices and use of inputs

Figure 5. Recommendation Domains generated from the survey results.

Stage 2

Recommendation Domains source: Borrowed from a discussion with

Dr. Mo P. Collinson.

Table 21. Some suggested categorizations of FEA units into some
Recommendation Domains for on-farm research/trials.

Traditional Stage Transitional Stage Improved Stage
FEA unit (Stage 1) (Stage 2) (Stage 3)

Sameisamei X XXXXX

Majabto XXXXX X


B/Shekh X XXXX X

Mushani XXXXXX*

Farhane X XX XXX

*Totally in the Traditional Stage.

--' /

in this unit are: use of local seed, non-use of insecticides and fertili-
zers, and intercropping/relay cropping. Gebei may fit into Semi-traditional
B/Shekh--The farmers here are a little more advanced than the first two
areas. However, there are traits of traditionalism. They still use local
seeds and a sizeable number of them plant at random and practice intercrop-
ping and relay cropping. However, few farmers use fertilizers. In fact,
the use of fertilizers makes this unit different from the first two areas.
This unit may be classified in the Transitional Stage.
Maabtoo--Majabto uses some fertilizer, improved seeds and does some
row planting to some extent. This area is, therefore, the most advanced in
the use of inputs and practices of all the areas mentioned above. However,
weeding is below the minimum required number. Also, their use of insecti-
cides is not effective because the rate reported is far below the minimum.
This area is very small compared with the rest of the five areas. Majabto
also is suggested to belong to the Transitional Stage.
Sameisameio--This area is a neighbor to Majabto. It has similar
characteristics to Majabto: it is comparatively a small area; the farmers
use fertilizers and some (more) insecticides (than in Majabto);and weeding
is below minimum However, about 20% of the farmers do not plant in rows,
and very few use local seeds. This unit is in the Improved Stage.
Farhaneo--This is the largest unit of the FEA units surveyed, in terms
of farm family. It is as big as Majabto, Sameisamei, Gebei and B/Shekh put
together. Consequently, any traits shown by this unit in the survey mean
a large number of farmers are involved. Farhane demonstrated almost a bit
of all the characteristics found in all the areas. However, the most
prominent of all are use of fertilizer, use of local seeds, and planting at
random. Farhane may be classified under Semi-improved Stageo


Barlowe, Raleigh: Land Resource Economics--The Economics of Real Property;
Second Edition, Prentice Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1972.
Byerlee, Do, Harrington, Lo, and Winkleman, Do: "Farming Systems Research,
Issues in Research Strategy and Technology Design"; American Journal
of Agicultural Economics (AJAE), Vol. 64, 1982.
Government of Somalia: Food Early Warning System Department, Ministry of
Agriculture--Federal Republic of Germany ESP Program, 1984/85.
Harrington, L. W,, and Tripp, R,: "Recommendation Domains: A Framework
for On-Farm Research." CIMMYT Economics Program Working Paper 0/84,
Johnston, B. Fo, and Kibby, P,: "Agriculture and Structural Transformation:
Economic Strategies in Late Developing Countries"; New York, Oxford
University Press, 1975.
and Southworth, M. Herman (Editors): Agricultural Development
and Economic Growth--various chapters. Cornell University Press,
Ithaca, New York 14850, 1974.
Norman, D, Wo, "Economic Rationality of Traditional Hausa Dryland Farmers
in the North of Nigeria"; Rural Economic Research Unit, Amadu Bello
University, Zaria, Nigeria, 1976.
"Farming Systems Research to Improve the Livelihood of Small
Farmers"; Contribution number 79-13-A, Department of Agricultural
Economics, Kansas State Ag. Experiment Station, Manhattan, 1982o
Shaner, Wo Wo, Phillip, P. F., and Schmehl, Wo R.: Farming Sytems Research
and Development--Guidelines for Developing Countries, Vol. 1, 1981o
United States of America Government (USAID) Title XII Strengthening Grant--
Farming Systems Research Paper Series, Proceedings of Kansas State
University's Farming Systems Research Symposium, Kansas State Univer-
sity, Manhattan, Kansas 66506- various Series from 1981-84,
Wolgin, Jerome M.: "Resource Allocation and Risk: A Case Study of Small
Holder Agriculture in Kenya"; AJAE Vol. 57, No. 4, ppo 622-630, November


Applied Agronomic Research Trials--Experimental trials that are repli ated
for statistical verification and are expected to yield results that
can be applied to farmers' fields.
Budgeting--Putting money value on planning operations to show expenditure
and income.
Comparison Trials--Plots (two or more) where the effects of various practices
and/or inputs may be compared. Comparison will be agronomic (yield)
and/or economic (profit).
Cost Effectiveness--Economic assessment showing whether spending money on
some undertaking is worth it.
Costing--Putting money value on operations in an enterprise.
Cropping Systems--Types of systems related to the cropping aspect of farming.
Demonstrations--Plots that are planted to show a particular practice or end
result. These may be method and/or result.
Der--A Somali word meaning the minor agricultural season.
Efficiency--Effective use of a (some) resource.
Farming Practices--The various operations required in farming, such as land
preparation, sowing, weeding, irrigating, harvesting, controlling
pests, etc.
Farming Systems--The system encompassing all of farming operations, crops
and animals.
Gross Revenue--Total money income without taking away expenditure.
Gu--A Somali word meaning the major agricultural season.
Inputs--Those items supplied by man to his farming system. These may be
personal, such as his and/or his family's labor, or purchased, such as
tillage implements, irrigation water, fertilizers, chemicals, hired
labor, etc.
Institutional Variables--The various elements that influence an institution,
for example: price is a variable for market institution; subsidy and
price policy are variables found in government (action) as an institu-
tion; values, mores and roles are variables that are found in culture
as an institution, etc.
Jibal--A Somali word meaning 1/16 of a hectare.


Labor Intensive--An activity or job that involves more labor than all other
factors of production in that activity.
Malthusian Theory--A theory stated by Revo Thomas Malthus, an English
population theorist, who postulated that food production increases
by arithmetic progression while population growth increases by geo-
metric progression. Sooner or later there would be more people than
the available food supply could support, etc.
Management Time--Amount of time available to a person who manages an enter-
Net Revenue--Total (gross) revenue less expenditure.
On-Farm Research (OFR) (Off-Station Research)--Conducted at the ETCs, 60-ha
Farm and on farmers' fields. At the ETCs and 60-ha Farm will be
applied agronomic research trials as well as demonstration and compari-
son trials On farmers' fields will be demonstration and comparison
Profitability Analysis--Calculation of all costs and revenues resulting
from performing some operations, in order to find out what is left
over after all costs have been met or paid.
Quintal--A Somali word meaning 100 kilograms.
Recommendation Domain--A grouping of farmers who will be given the same
recommendations, usually grouped because of availability to various
Subsistence Farming--Farming enterprise in which over 50% of the produce is
consumed at home without selling.
Technology Development--The working together of the farmer and the Subject
Matter Specialists to develop a farming system that is suitable to
the farmer.
Yambo--A Somali word meaning hoe.


Agricultural Extension Project: 649-0112

Questionnaire for Diagnostic Survey

10 Farmer's name Interviewer

Region District Village Date

Family size__ No of wives/husband_ No. of children

No. of children going to school No. of other relatives living with

Distance Fields Crops Cropping pattern
No. of rea from cultivated Cp (mono/
fields village intercropping)
Gu Der Gu Der Gu Der

3. How many animals do you own? Catt

camels chickens ,

4. Are you a member of a cooperative?

If yes, what benefits do you get?

Le sheep __, goats ,

donkeys other .

Yes ( ) No( )

If no, why not?

Do you want to be a member?

P--- ------~-----;r-------~--m--r----~ -.----~~-~--~-- ---^-- m----- =-- -ls;~-----~- -I---rn-----~---------

5. Land Preparation

How do you prepare your land? Tractor ( ) yambo ( ) animal power ( )

If you use tractor, do you rent ( ) or own ( )?

What is the cost of plowing/jibal or ha ? Cost of harvesting/

jibal or ha ? How many hours/jibal or ha for plowing_ ?_

How many hours/jibal or ha for harrowing? If you use yambo, how

many man-days do you spend/jibal ? What is the cost/man-day

? If you use animal power, how many jibals do you plow/day?

What animal do you use for plowing?

6. Planting

Rate of use @
Input used Source kg/jibal or ha Noo of appl0 Cost @ kg

Local seed

Improved seed


( )

Other (

How do you plant? i rows ( ) ii hand broadcast ( ) iii yambo ( )

iv2 & 3 ( )

Do you have difficulty getting insecticide? Yes ( ) No ( )

Do you have difficulty getting fertilizers? Yes ( ) No ( )

7. Irrigation

Do you irrigate your field? Yes ( ) No ( ) How many times in Gu:

1 2 3 4 ; Der: 1 1 3 4 ? How many jibals do you irrigate/day?

What is the cost/man-day? __ Where do you get water for irrigation?

Gu: pump ( ), well ( ), rain ( ); Der: pump ( ), well ( ), rain ( )

8, Weeding

Do you weed with tractor ( ) yambo ( ) animal power ( )?

How many times per season do you weed your field? Gu ( ), Der ( )

How many man-days do you spend weeding one jibal/ha ( )?

What is the cost/man-day? Gu Der

9, Harvesting

How many man-days/jibal do you take to harvest?

What is the cost/man-day?

What is the average yield/jibal? _

10. Storage and Marketing

Do you store all grain? Yes ( ) No ( )

How do you store it?

If you do not store all your grain, how much do you sell?

If you store all your grain, what is the reason?

Where do you sell your grain? ,. .

How much do you sell/quintal?

What is the government policy for marketing? Gu. control price ( ), free

market ( ) Der: control price ( ), free market ( )o

11. Labor

How many people help you on your field/farm? _When is labor mostly

needed? Gu ( ) Der ( ) What months in Gu: or

Der is the demand at its peak? For what activities do

you mostly need labor? i ii__ _.....

iii iv

How much labor do you need for the activities mentioned above? i

ii __, iii iv .

Is there any labor shortage? Yes ( ) No ( ) If yes, when?

for what activities?

How much do you pay for labor? Gu Der

What is the lowest amount labor is prepared to take? Gu Der

How much are you prepared to pay labor, at most? Gu Der

If you were to sell your labor, how much would you accept? Gu


12. Policy

Do you get credit? Yes ( ) No ( )

If yes, where do you get it from?

Do you need credit? Yes ( ) No ( )

What activities do you mostly need credit for?

What kinds of credit do you have at your area?

What are the problems that hinder you from increasing output? List 5 of them

in order of importance,





___ -----1---1--11-'-~~~---I--I------~ -1--~1-11