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close this bookBetter Farming Series 10 - The Farm Business Survey (FAO - INADES, 1976, 38 p.)
close this folderPart 2 - The farm business survey
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWhy make a farm business survey?
View the documentA farmer should know the size of his fields
View the documentHow to reckon the length and width of a field
View the documentHow to reckon the area of a field
View the documentHow to measure the weight of a harvest
View the documentHow to reckon the yield per hectare
View the documentHow to reckon receipts
View the documentExplanations to help in answering the questionnaire

Why make a farm business survey?

Many students of the Better Farming courses are farmers who work on a farm. Sometimes this business belongs to them, and sometimes it belongs to their father, or brother or uncle.

Each Better Farming student should have a good knowledge of the farm on which he works.

If he knows it well, he will be able to improve it, for he will have a good knowledge of the means of production used by this farm business.

Many students of the Better Farming courses are agricultural extension workers, or agricultural assistants or community leaders. Their aim is to teach farmers to farm the land better, to breed better animals.

For them too it is necessary to have a good knowledge of some farm.
They will learn how to look carefully at a farm business.
They will see better all the farmers' difficulties.
They will be able to advise them better, and help them better in their everyday work.

How to make a farm business survey

1. If you own a farm, or if you work with your father, or brother or uncle, choose the farm business in which you work.

Read the survey questionnaire. At each question, note how things are on the farm where you work.

In answering the question, do not invent an answer which will please the enumerator or supervisor. Say exactly what happens on the farm.

For example:

You are asked if you put manure on the fields. If on your farm the animals are not shut in, you cannot make manure. So you should not say that you put manure on the fields.

For example:

You are asked if you apply fertilizer to your plantation. If you do not apply fertilizer, you must not say that you do.

The farm must be described exactly as it is. Answers must not be invented.

2. If you do not own a farm, or if you do not work on a farm, choose a farm that you know well.

If you are an agricultural extension worker or agricultural assistant, choose a farm which you regularly visit to advise the farmer. Ask the farmer to give you the necessary information. Make a note on paper of all this information and then fill in the questionnaire of the survey.

If you have some other job, such as that of schoolteacher look for a farmer or planter in your neighbourhood who will give you the information you need. You can also choose a farm in your native village, or your old father's farm, or that of your uncle or one of your cousins. Ask them questions, make a note of the answers to these questions.

Go and look at the fields yourself. Measure the area of each field. Weigh the traditional measures, such as a cask and a calabash (gourd) to find out how many kilogrammes of millet a cask or a calabash contains.