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close this bookLocally Generated Printed Materials in Agriculture: Experience from Uganda and Ghana - Education research paper No. 31 (DFID, 1999, 132 p.)
close this folder5. Phase I: The findings of the postal survey
View the document(introduction...)
View the document5.1 Analysis of survey respondents
View the document5.2 Formation and aims of groups
View the document5.3 Socio-economic status of target communities
View the document5.4 Sharing of Information
View the document5.5 Access to sources of information

5.3 Socio-economic status of target communities

A number of questions sought to establish the nature of the target communities with whom the groups worked. The target communities were predominantly rural (73%). A further 20% of groups worked with both rural and urban communities; only 7% worked solely with urban communities.

Target communities were characterised by high levels of poverty and insecurity, with the majority having no regular income (52%) and few farmers (14%) owning two or more hectares of land. On cross-tabulation, more farmers owning their own land were found in Africa, with more landless labourers in Asia.

Less than a quarter of the target communities were well provided with good quality, inexpensive and accessible health care facilities. The use of traditional healers as commonplace was mentioned by 15% of respondents.

5.3.1 Limiting factors for farmers

Findings from the survey indicate that the overriding limiting factor for agriculture in the target communities was a lack of resources to enable farmers to purchase necessary inputs. Five other limitations received high rankings. Of these key limiting factors, only two - unreliable climate and poor soil fertility - could be attributed mainly to natural causes. A further two - land shortages and poor markets - were likely to require political or economic intervention before significant improvements could be made. Poor access to relevant agricultural information and training was ranked third. Given that this is the one factor out of these six which could be most significantly improved through cost-effective and replicable measures, this provides an indication of the potential significance of this research.

Zangbogu group meeting, Ghana.