This work package aims firstly at finding farmer’s perception on:

  • how farmers perceive agro-biodiversity and needs to diversify farming?
  • which incentives and disincentives for maintaining agro-biodiversity do exist?
  • how farmers can be supported to increase agro-biodiversity?
  • What is the role of diversity as regards to income strategies

Secondly the work package aims at:

  • finding farmer’s perceptions on diversity and objections.
  • investigation of trends in farming systems using a cross section approach, starting from current observations of a strong bias towards one product, i.e. maize or enset as subsistence crop,
  • Visualizing trade-offs between income maximizing and diversity oriented strategies
  • identification of deficits in diversification strategies. Strategies will be made noticeable by showing alternatives through programming of alternative farming strategies. Here objectives are nutrients.
  • Converting the current strategies into strategies that help to improve nutrition security of communities and to achieve a sustainable food system. And obstacles are to be identified?

Description of Activities:

We start with a hypothesis that, at various scales (from field, to farm and community and re­gion­al scale), a lack of diversity most likely can be identified with regards to soil preparation techniques, planting types, plant protection modes, and harvest techniques. In this respect the division of labor between the innovation WP3 and this work package is that we differently look for embedded routines. We commence with the hypothesis that, attributed to knowledge of individual farmers and the community, small scale farmers have not fully developed the capacity of diversified agriculture, yet. They are in a vicious cycle of investing labor in apparently unsustainable things. Due to several factors, to be identified, product exchange is also low and self-sufficiency in, for example maize, is still the prime objective of many farmers decreasing the labor burden. It will be investigated how the current system can be further optimized towards income or diversity.

  • Activity 2.1.0, Income potentials of mono-cropping will be compared to diversified strategies
  • Activity 2.1.1. Here, the focus of research will be on diversity or lack of diversity at the levels of potential diversification and it is related to labor costs and returns. For that we program farms.
  • Activity 2.1.2. A focus is on labor economies of different strategies. We will collect and construct labor budgets for different cropping strategies, based on calorie expenses offered by WP3. Our method, used, is documenting energy balances and achievements in nutrient production in output-input matrices for different cropping strategies (mono-culture, moderate diverse and very diverse).
  • Activity 2.1.3. A risk analysis will supplement a scenario building. Such scenarios will be discus­sed in WP 3 and 4 with stakeholders and serve as capacity assessment for new cropping strategies.

Further major activities are:

  • Activity 2.2.0 Farm Budgets will be calculated to show income equivalents for commercial and subsistence farming
  • Activity 2.2.1. Structured interviews on:
  1. current land use strategies as derived from participatory rural appraisals,
  2. investigations of local knowledge as perceived on past cropping patterns,
  3. specific farm practices to minimize crop failures as related to diversification,
  4. options to use specific fruit crops and legumes for intercropping in agro-forestry systems,
  5. specific recognition of drought resistance of crops varieties,
  6. deliberate changes in farm practices and production constraints as locally pursued.
  • Activity 2.2.2. Focused group discussions with regard to:
  1. price variability of “food” micro nutrients on local markets and contrast monetary values,
  2. local information on availability of seeds, aspirations on seed germination, etc.
  • Activity 2.2.3 Participatory approaches and transect walks on representative sites will allow identifying current land use, its linkage to soil degradation, and indicators of soil degradation
  • Activity 2.2.4. Delivery of the information on the status quo with respect to diversified agriculture within the study areas for the WP3 and WP4.