Cover Image
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

Explanations to help in answering the questionnaire

The questionnaire for this survey is long. There are five parts. Each of these parts deals with one of the means of production of the farm business:

· Farm labour (page 2 of questionnaire)
· Farm animals (page 3 of questionnaire)
· Farm land and products: garden, plantations, fields, pasture (pages 4 and 5 of questionnaire)
· Farm buildings (page 6 of questionnaire)
· Farm installations and tools (page 7 of questionnaire)

In the following pages we give some explanations so that you can answer the questions better. Read these pages several times, so that you will understand better what you are asked.

Think well before answering. Take good note of what is done on the farm. Do not invent answers. Say exactly what there is on the farm.

Page 2 of questionnaire


First of all it is important to say to whom the farm belongs, who is head of the business.

You must also say if you work on the farm.

Then it is important to know how many people work all the year round on the farm. Include only those who remain in the village all the year, and who work on the farm all the year.

In the following question you can say if some people come from time to time to work, for example, students during their holidays, brothers, or cousins, or friends.

Page 3 of questionnaire


There are animals on almost all farms.

First of all you are asked to say what animals live on the farm.

If there are cattle (cows, oxen) you answer "yes" after "Cattle," and then you say how many males, females and calves there are. If there are no cattle you write "no" after "Cattle."

You do the same thing with the other animals: sheep, goats, pigs, chickens. If there are other animals which are not listed in the questionnaire, such as donkeys, horses, camels, rabbits, guinea fowl, write the name of the animal under the other names of animals, then say how many are males, females, young ones.

Next you must say what these animals are used for.
Are they raised for meat, or milk or eggs?
Are they raised for sale to earn money?
Are they raised for farm work such as ploughing, and for transport?

Pages 4 and 5 of questionnaire


The two pages on land are divided into four parts:

1. Garden
2. Tree plantations
3. Fields
4. Pasture

1. Garden

On the farm there is perhaps a place where, for example, pimentoes, or tomatoes, or okra or onions are grown. Name all the plants grown in this garden. Say also if the farmer sells vegetables grown in the garden. If there is no garden, answer "no" and go on to the next question.

2. Tree plantations

Plantations are land where trees are grown. In the questionnaire each rectangle represents one plantation. Fill in as many rectangles as there are plantations. In the forest regions, the plantations are chiefly of coffee trees, cocoa trees, oil palms, coconut palms, bananas. In savanna country the plantations are chiefly of fruit trees such as mango, orange, lemon or papaw trees.

If the plantation is very small, for example, it has three or four mango trees, give only the number of trees, do not give the area. If the plantation is very big, for example, coffee trees, give only the area of the plantation and not the number of trees.

3. Fields

In the questionnaire each rectangle represents one field. Fill in as many rectangles as there are fields.

For example: Yeo has a field of cotton, a field of millet, a field of groundnuts.
Yeo has only three fields, so he fills in only three rectangles.

Field of cotton

Field of millet

Fields of groundnuts


0.7 ha


0.8 ha


0.5 ha


560 kg


640 kg


400 kg


560 kg



300 kg


16 800 f




7500 f

When a farmer has not sold a product, or example, millet, fill in only the first three lines of each rectangle; do not fill in the last two lines.

4. Pasture

Are there places where fodder crops for animals are grown, for example, a seeded fallows
Page 6 of questionnaire


A modern farm should have special buildings.

There may be three kinds of buildings:

1. Buildings to house the animals:

· a cow shed for cattle (cows, oxen);
· a shed for sheep or goats;
· a pigsty for pigs;
· a henhouse for poultry (chickens, guinea fowl);
· a stable for donkeys or horses.

2. Buildings for tools:

· a shed for implements, such as: hoe, machete, sickle plough, mechanical cultivator, seed drill, rice thresher, coffee pulping machine;
· a store for fertilizers and pecticides.

3. Buildings for the harvests:

· a granary for storing millet, rice, groundnuts;
· a hut for storing cassava or yams;
· a shelter for drying coffee or cocoa.

Take note whether there are such buildings on the farm. Do not invent your answers. If there are no buildings of these kinds, answer "no" to the questions.

Page 7 of questionnaire


First of all, say whether the farmer has made any installations on his farm, such as digging a pit for making compost, or arranging a place for making manure, or digging a well to get water, or digging channels to make an irrigated rice field.

Do not invent answers if there are no such installations.

Answer "no" to the questions.

Next, list the different tools that belong to the farmer.

List first the hand tools, such as: hoe, machete, knife, sickle, spade, dibber, rake.

Then list the tools drawn by animals (if the farmer works with animal power), such as: plough, cart, harrow, marker, cultivator, groundnut lifting plough.

Finally, list the other machines, such as: rice threshing machine, coffee pulping machine, pesticide applicators, millet grinder, scales for weighing produce.