A Community Assessment of Chololo Ecovillage Innovations

This report summarises the outcomes of a community workshop held in Chololo on 2 August 2013. The purpose of the workshop was to assess the effectiveness, gender friendliness, and affordability of the 25 innovations introduced by the Chololo Ecovillage project, so as to be able to prioritise innovations for scaling up. The workshop used participatory methods, particularly community matrix ranking, to assess the innovations. Participation increased as the day went on – from 39 up to 55 participants, around 60% female. The process grouped the innovations into four main headings: Agriculture, Livestock, Natural Resources, and Water.

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 1         Agriculture

1.1            CROPS

Participants listed the crops they grew, in order of importance

Importance

Crop

1

Pearl Millet

2

Sorghum

3

Groundnut

4

Cowpea

5

Pigeon pea

6

Maize

 1.2            TAKE-UP OF AGRICULTURE INNOVATIONS

Participants (39) reported their take-up of the main agricultural innovations

Agriculture Innovations

Take up

(%age)

Good Agricultural Practices

100%

Ox-tillage implements: ox-plough, Magoye ripper, ox ridger

100%

Intercropping

100%

Farmyard manure

95%

Soil moisture conservation measures (e.g. contours, fanya juu)

40%

Community seed production

15%

Chololo pits

3%

Conclusions on take-up of agriculture innovations:

From these results we see that the most popular agricultural innovations taken up are:

  • Good Agricultural Practices,
  • Ox-tillage implements,
  • Intercropping, and
  • Farmyard manure

The soil moisture conservation measures have less take-up, possibly due to the limited availability of hands-on training resources in this area. Community seed production take-up figures reflect the small numbers of farmers who were involved in this highly specialised activity.

1.3            Innovation assessment methods

a) Effectiveness: Participants were first asked to indicate the effectiveness of each of the innovations, by each ticking the 4 most effective, using different colour marker pens for men and women.

b) Women’s benefit: Female participants (only) were then asked to vote by show of hands on whether each innovation benefitted women, and state why each were of benefit.

c) Affordability: Participants were asked to indicate whether they would take up each of the innovations: not at all, only if free, only with a loan, or with their own money.

 

Innovations

(Agriculture)

Effectiveness

Does it benefit women?

Why do women benefit?

 

Total

Male

Female

 
Improved seeds

77%

14

16

100%

“When there is food there is peace”
Ox-tillage implements

77%

13

17

70%

Labour-saving
Soil moisture conservation

72%

7

11

46%

Plants can stay longer
Farm yard manure

62%

10

14

70%

Higher yield
Intercropping

41%

6

10

100%

“We get all the crops”
Good Agriculture Practices

27%*

6

4

97%

More yield
Community seed production

5%

1

1

Chololo pits

3%

1

* Possibly an anomaly due to misunderstanding of the scope of GAP when the question was being asked. See take-up table above.

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1.4            Conclusions on effectiveness and gender friendliness of agriculture innovations:

From the table above we see that the most effective innovations are

  • Improved seeds
  • Ox-tillage implements
  • Soil moisture conservation
  • Farmyard manure

While the most beneficial to women are identified as:

  • Improved seeds
  • Intercropping
  • Good Agriculture Practices
  • Ox-tillage implements
  • Farmyard manure

 

Innovations

(Agriculture)

Affordability

 

Don’t want to buy

Only if free

Only with a loan

With their own money

Farm yard manure

0

0

0

100%

Intercropping

0

0

0

100%

Good Agricultural Practices

0

0

0

100%

Ox-tillage implements

1

0

54%

86%

Improved seeds

1

0

44%

82%

Soil moisture conservation measures

1

0

0

82%

Chololo pits

Community seed production

1.5            Conclusions on affordability of agriculture innovations:

It is clear that the following are readily affordable to farmers:

  • Farmyard manure
  • Intercropping
  • Good Agriculture Practices

While the following may require loans or subsidy to ensure take-up:

  • Ox-tillage implements
  • Improved seeds

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2.         Livestock Innovations

Innovation

(Livestock)

Effectiveness

Women benefit

Don’t want to buy

Only if free

Only with a loan

With their own money

Disease management

100%

87%

0

0

3%

97%

Bulls

92%

Not yet*

0

89%

23%

0

Cocks

86%

65%

0

44%

27%

46%

Goat bucks

70%

39%

0

29%

44%

3%

Leather making

29%

12%

1

0

16%

21%

Fish farming

29%

47%

0

24%

0

31%

Bee keeping

19%

16%

0

8%

18%

0

Planting fodder crops

10%

0

20*

13%

5%

18%

* Bulls have yet to be evaluated as they were bought as calves and have taken time to reach maturity.

** Participants reported that there is no land available for planting fodder crops

2.1            Conclusions on livestock innovations:

Disease management emerges as a clear and affordable favourite innovation. Improved cocks, while effective and beneficial to women, are only affordable to around half of the farmers. Fish farming and leather making are attractive and affordable to a minority of participants. Improved bulls would require major subsidies while goat bucks would need significant access to loan finance or subsidy. Bee keeping is as yet unproven in Chololo.

 

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3.         Natural Resource Innovations

Participants (50) assessed the effectiveness and gender benefits of the natural resource innovations

Innovation

(Natural Resources)

Effectiveness

Women benefit

Don’t want

If free

If Loan

Own money

Tree planting

100%

68%

0

0

0

80%

Fuel efficient stoves

78%

50%

0

4%

2%

66%

Land use planning

72%

54%

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Agroforestry

32%

30%

20%*

0

0

64%

Biogas

12%

4%

2%

10%

44%

0

Forest management

8%

52%

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

* Participants said most would prefer fruit trees (in agroforestry)

Participants were then asked: How can you protect the village land & forest?  They responded that since the project interventions, the bylaws regulating forest protection had been enforced, suggesting this was an effective way of protecting the forest.

3.1            Conclusions on natural resource innovations:

Tree planting is the favourite, most beneficial and affordable innovation. Fuel efficient stoves are also a very popular and affordable choice. Land use planning is seen as effective and beneficial. Take up of agroforestry would be enhanced by a focus on fruit trees. Biogas is seen as a minority option for those with access to loan finance.

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4.         Water Innovations

Participants were asked to rank the effectiveness and gender benefit of water innovations. Personal affordability was not explored as the water innovations are communal resources. Participants were probed to identify the top priority innovations.

 

Innovation

(Water)

Effectiveness

Women benefit

(women only vote)

Priority

Borehole rehabilitation

100%

100%

1

Roof catchment water harvesting

100%

100%

Water resource management

100%

100%

Sand / Sub surface dam

100%

27%

2

4.1            Conclusions on water innovations:

All the water innovations were seen as effective, with borehole rehabilitation, and dams as the first and second priority, suggesting that innovations that provide open access to more water are favoured.

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5.         Overall conclusions

The participant scores are analysed in the tables below, using percentage bands from 0-10 (10=high)

Table 1 gives equal weighting for all three criteria.

Rank

Innovation

Effectiveness

Gender

Affordability

Score (+++)

1

Disease management

10

9

10

29

2

Improved seeds

8

10

9

27

3=

Intercropping

5

10

10

25

3=

Good Agriculture Practices

5

10

10

25

3=

Tree planting

10

7

8

25

6

Farm yard manure

6

8

10

24

7=

Ox-tillage implements

8

8

6

22

7=

Soil moisture conservation

8

5

9

22

9

Cocks

9

7

5

21

10=

Fuel efficient stoves

8

5

7

20

10=

Borehole rehabilitation

10

10

?

20

10=

Roof catchment water harvesting

10

10

?

20

10=

Water resource management

10

10

?

20

14

Sand / Sub surface dam

10

3

?

13

15

Land use planning

7

5

?

12

16

Agroforestry

3

3

6

12

17

Goat bucks

7

4

0

11

18

Fish farming

3

5

3

11

19

Bulls

10

?

0

10

20=

Leather making

3

1

2

6

20=

Forest management

1

5

?

6

20=

Bee keeping

2

2

2

6

23

Biogas

1

0

4

5

24

Planting fodder crops

1

0

1

2

25

Community seed production

1

0

?

1

26

Chololo pits

0

0

?

0

Table 2 below ranks the innovations giving double weight to affordability, and equal weight to the other two criteria.

 

Rank

Innovation

Effectiveness

Gender

Affordability

Score (+++)

1

Disease management

10

9

20

39

2

Improved seeds

8

10

18

36

3=

Intercropping

5

10

20

35

3=

Good Agriculture Practices

5

10

20

35

5

Farm yard manure

6

8

20

34

6

Tree planting

10

7

16

33

7

Soil moisture conservation

8

5

18

31

8

Ox-tillage implements

8

8

12

28

9

Fuel efficient stoves

8

5

14

27

10

Cocks

9

7

10

26

11=

Borehole rehabilitation

10

10

?

20

11=

Roof catchment water harvesting

10

10

?

20

11=

Water resource management

10

10

?

20

14

Agroforestry

3

3

12

18

15

Fish farming

3

5

6

14

16

Sand / Sub surface dam

10

3

?

13

17

Land use planning

7

5

?

12

18

Goat bucks

7

4

0

11

19

Bulls

10

?

0

10

20

Biogas

1

0

8

9

21=

Leather making

3

1

4

8

21=

Bee keeping

2

2

4

8

23

Forest management

1

5

?

6

24

Planting fodder crops

1

0

2

3

25

Community seed production

1

0

?

1

26

Chololo pits

0

0

?

0

Overall Top Ten Innovations

Rank

Innovation

1

Livestock disease management

2

Improved seeds

3

Intercropping

4

Good Agriculture Practices

5

Farm yard manure

6

Tree planting

7

Soil moisture conservation

8

Ox-tillage implements

9

Fuel efficient stoves

10

Cocks
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