A Community Assessment of Climate Change Innovations in Chololo Ecovillage

Submitted by Michael Rastall | published 19th Sep 2013 | last updated 5th Feb 2014

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.

Agriculture

1.1 Crops

Participants listed the crop they grew, in order of importance. 

Importance Crop 
1 Pearl Millet
2 Sorghum
3 Groundnut
4 Cowpea
5 Pigeon pea
6 Maize


1.2 Yields

Participants reported average yields per acre for key crops this year. 

Importance Crop Lowest yield 2013 (bags/acre) Average yield 2013 (bags/acre) Lowest yield 2013 (Kg/acre) Average yield 2013 (Kg/acre)
1 Pearl Millet 1.5 3-3.5 150-167 300-385
2 Sorghum 2 3-4 200-220 300-440
3 Groundnut 0.3-1 4-7 ??? ???

 

1.3 Take-Up of Agriculture Innovations

Partipants (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 se 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 the small numbers of farmers who were involved in this highly specialised activity. 

1.4 Innovative assessments 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

 

Percentage benefit to women? Why does it benefit women?
  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 the GAP when the question was being asked. See take-up table above. 

1.5 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 agriculture 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 - - - -


 1.6 Conclusions on affordability of agriculture innovations:

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

  • Farmyard manure
  • Intercropping
  • Good agriculture practices

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

  • Ox-tillage implements
  • Improved seeds

1.7 Food security

Participants predicted how long their harvest would last this year.

Harvest Predicted food availability limit Number of participants Months of food availability Months of hunger
April May 1 11 1
April October 6 6 6
April December 7 8 4
April January 6 9 3

These figures show that the period of food deficit is expected to vary from 1 month to 6 months, while the average period of food deficit this year will last 4.7 months.

 

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%  3% 97% 
Bulls 92%  Not yet*  89%  23% 
Cocks 86%  65%  44%  27%  46% 
Goat bucks 70%  39%  29%  44%  3% 
Leather making 29%  12%  0%  16%  21% 
Fish farming 29%  47%  24%  31% 
Bee keeping 19%  16%  8%  18% 
Planting fodder crops 10%  0%   20** 13%  5%  18% 

* Bulls have yet to be evaluated as they 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.

Natural Resources

3. Natural Resource Innovations (50 participants)

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 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 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.

Water

Water Innovations (55 participants: 31 women)

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.


New Innovations

What new innovations would you like to see? They replied:

  • Irrigation from a new borehole or chacko dam
  • Small scale businesses
  • Ox carts

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 based on affordability alone

Rank Innovation Effectiveness Gender Affordability Score (+++)
1 Disease management 10 9 10 29
2 Intercropping 5 10 10 25
2= Good agricultural practices 5 10 10 25
4 Farm yard manure 10 24 
Improved seeds 10 22 
6 Soil moisture conservation 5 22 
7 Tree planting 10  7 25 
8 Fuel efficient stoves 8 5 20 
9= Ox-tillage implements 8 8 22 
9= Agroforesty 3 3 12 
11 Cocks 9 7 5 21 
12 Biogas 1
13 Fish farming 11 
14= leather making 3
14= Bee keeping 2 2 2
16 Planting fodder crops
17 Goat bucks 7 4 0 11 
18 Bulls 10  10 
19= Borehole rehabilitation 10 10 ? 20 
19= Roof catchment water harvesting 10  10  20 
19= Water resource management 10 10 ? 20 
19= Sand/sub surface dam 10  13 
19= Land use management 7 5 ? 12 
19= Forest management
19= Community seed production 1 0 ?
19= Chololo pits


Table 3 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 21 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 10
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 Disease management
2 Improved seeds
3 Intercropping
4 Good agricultural practices
5 Farm yard manure
6 Tree planting
7 Soil moisture conservation
8 Ox-tillage implements
9 Fuel efficient stoves
10 Cocks