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ZIM-SHEP Project News vol.22 (Oct 2022) "Baseline Survey in Mashonaland West Province and Masvingo Province"

The ZIM-SHEP Team conducted Baseline surveys in 6 targeted irrigation schemes in Mashonaland West and Masvingo provinces in September and October 2022 respectively. The purpose of the baseline survey was to make farmers realize their current situation according to production practices, marketing, gender inclusion and income gained from horticulture production.

ZIM-SHEP's Participatory Baseline Survey is a unique exercise conducted differently from the traditional surveys where extension staff administer the questionnaire to farmers by interviewing and filling the form. In SHEP, the farmers proactively participate by filling the survey forms themselves with support of extension officers. The exercise gave farmers an opportunity to understand, gain awareness and learn about their own agricultural production situation and importance of farming as business.

The approach followed in collecting information from farmers, data entering, and submission were as follows: ZIM-SHEP Headquarter team had a preparatory meeting with provincial, district and ward-based Agriculture Extension Officers and Agriculture Extension Supervisors. The HQ team explained the purpose of the baseline survey, key points to note in the questionnaire, how to explain the importance of farm record keeping to farmers, entering data using the ZIM-SHEP tablets and uploading to the server. Following the meeting, provincial officers then gave a presentation to farmers on the same topics.

After the presentation, farmers were separated in groups of 10 or less, and given questionnaires to fill. Each group was facilitated by district officers such as AES and AEO with HQ team backstopping. Finally, farmers were asked to discuss the new findings gained through participating in the survey.

A farmer told us, "I learnt the importance of record-keeping while writing the questionnaire", "The mentality that ‘as long as we have a field, we must produce something' must end. That's why we make loses", "We need to operate our farming enterprises as a business and keep track of costs and sales by recording transactions for better farm management".

PhotoBaseline survey

PhotoBaseline survey

PhotoBaseline survey

PhotoBaseline survey: How to keep record


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