Integrated baseline survey report (Baghlan, Nangarhar)
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This baseline survey and report was undertaken in order to carry out a deeper analysis of data collected; as well as in terms of gaining a better understanding of the contextual nature of household decisions related to the management of forage production and feeding. Equally important will be a better understanding of the nature of interactions within and between households, taking into account issues of history and ethnicity in a contemporary environment of significant flux in social, economic and political systems. A series of focus group discussions with women farmers aimed at uncovering a better understanding of the role of gender within livestock and forage production practices (including marketing). Quite apart from types of activities and rates of participation, it will be of significant value to understand perceptions related to the role of technology in improving the quality of life for women and the pathways through which they envision this to potentially happen. Specificity in terms of constraints to inclusivity within value chains is required given a dearth of information in this area and particularly so in terms of forage production. Answering the question of what constrains the adoption of technology (embodied in a seed or equipment) requires an exploratory approach of investigation and one which is not amenable to questionnaire given male dominance and cultural norms; A clear indication of the importance of institutions for forest management and rights of access in Baghlan suggests the need for more detailed study and investigation into aspects of regulatory oversight, user rights (both formal and customary) as well as options for improving the productivity of forests in terms of access to forage; A more detailed understanding of which demography of farmers access VBSE’s in Baghlan and their proximity to the enterprise would be of significant value in understanding the potential for VBSE’s to affect significant change in the production and productivity of forage. Equally important will be a better understanding of why farmers in Nangarhar are relatively less inclined to access seed from VBSE’s within other provincial districts. An exploratory study may yield desirable learning in this regard, although a methodically sound case study approach may be more amenable to analytical generalization towards a testable proposition on how best to situate VBSE’s for optimal access and impact; Purposive and multi-stage sampling techniques were adopted, with a total of 210 households randomly selected in equal proportions for rainfed and irrigated production systems from three districts in Baghlan and Nangarhar provinces. Provinces and districts pre-selected by the project were selected purposively for the baseline survey. Villages were selected on the basis of where project activities will be implemented, including nearby villages which provide accessibility to seed markets. The rational is that any impact of the project on other farmers will start in these villages (with likely effects on the other villages that are not directly hosting seed enterprises). Villages were randomly selected from clusters formed within districts. A systematic random sample of one fifth of the farmer households were thereafter selected and interviewed, starting from the northern corner of the village and then every fifth household selected in a sequence. On average, ten households were selected from each village dependent upon the availability of farm households, and in a manner such that half of the households represented irrigated production system and the other half representing rainfed production systems. Data was collected from a total of 210 farmers selected from the selected villages distributed in three selected districts within the two provinces. As the enumerators were not familiar with the area and had no previous linkages/contacts with community leaders, the project took the support from Extension officials of DAIL in respective districts in identifying the respondents for baseline survey in different districts. The timely support provided by DAIL in this regard is highly appreciated.