TeleSupport India Repository

Solution Identification of category of farmers informally before forwarding information
Country India
Last update: 04/12/2006
Summary When any recommendation is forwarded for the use of farming community, theoretically two considerations become important. First, the target group for which the recommendation is meant and secondly, the selection of a particular recommendation or set of recommendations suitable for the given target group. This has been a reflection of marketing research tradition, although the participation of user groups for such segmentation and positioning has been extremely limited as far as the farming community is concerned. Farming system research and many system approaches of agricultural research and development, however, have done a lot to address such considerations. The present write up deals with the methods to explore the first consideration, the segmentation of farming community. Simple techniques like card sorting (Grandin, 1988) can be used for this purpose. This will be of great help to the intermediary agencies forwarding recommendation to the community. They will be able to categorize different target groups and adjust recommendations according to their realities.
forum discussion 
Contributed by person details Dr. Rupak Goswami (CI, TeleSupport India)
Challenge/Issue Most of the recommendations (either material or information/package of practices) that are forwarded by intermediary agencies to the farming community do not generally fit the farmers’ realities. The most important reason for such failure is that recommendations are mostly made in a blanket form to cover wide ago-ecological and social situations. As a result, recommendations are either rejected or cause harm to the sustainability of a given farming system. Understanding the diversity of the target group is necessary to avoid such situations. The identification of target groups is a challenging and cumbersome job if done through conventional survey. It will not also ensure users’ participation in such categorization.
Method · Arrange a list of farmers in the locality where the exercise will be conducted.
· Write the name of the farmers/head of the household on small cards – one household per card.
· Explain the purpose of the exercise to the farmers.
· Discuss with the farmers on the criteria (like land holding, irrigation facilities, assets, land and soil characteristics, cropping sequence, well-being etc) they feel important to characterize their farming systems.
· Now ask the participants to categorize the farmers on the basis of these criteria.
· As the participants arrange the cards ask them the rationale of doing so. Record details of the criteria on the other side of the cards.
· Ask the participants to assign name to the categories.
· Make a category-wise list of farmers with details of previously set criteria.
· If possible record the information/technology need of farmers on the card.
Lessons learned 1. This method will quickly generate huge information, which is validated by the participants themselves. That means participation of farmers will be incorporated.
2. Feeding such information in database management software can be useful as quick retrieval of appropriate categories/individual farmer will be possible.
3. Farmers themselves (along with the intermediary agency) will now be in a position to select recommendations forwarded to them.
4. The information can be kept and be used in the future for selection of beneficiary farmers in a new programme.
List Keywords
1.1 Socio- economic Sector (OECD) 311 Agriculture
1.4 Target group(s) 4. Research community
5. Decision makers/Policymakers
3. Intermediary organisations
Telesupport Themes Soil fertility
Water Management
Stage Country Region Location
Test India West Bengal
Role Person name
Owner/ originator person details Dr. Rupak Goswami
Role Organisation Acronym
Owner/Originator organisation details Change Initiatives CI
Network Organisation organisation details TeleSupport India Network TeleSupport India
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