The mobile data collection toolkit pilot tested in Kisongo, Tanzania in 2011 is being used to answer the following research questions:
- How can digital soil mapping and the analysis of biophysical data be used in conjunction with socioeconomic and household surveys to provide recommendations to enhance agricultural efficiency on smallholder farmers in northern Tanzania?
- What are the key constraints to accessing agricultural extension information? What are the most effective ways to identify these binding constraints?
- Are mobile phones the most efficient and appropriate technology with which to conduct household surveys? How can this survey tool be scaled up and replicated across SSA?
Data and Objectives
The AfSIS ict4ag data collection tool examines the relationship between agricultural yields and household factor endowments (land, labor and capital), illustrated in the below diagram. Used as a complement to the AfSIS digital soil mapping, the survey tool will specifically consider the following variables:
- Household socio-economic data
- Agricultural information flows
- Inputs and land management practices
The project has targeted the following objectives/goals based on the above information:
- To explore the on-farm realities of a soil’s potential yield as it compares with maximum yields produced in research facilities.
- To develop and improve recommendations for farmers.
- To better understand the degree and manner in which socio-economic factors affect farmer’s input decisions.
- To improve future information, outreach, and extension campaigns through strategic partnerships with agricultural extension organizations.
Survey Design and Principles
The universality and straightforward design of the survey will allow many organizations throughout Africa to adopt this tool and make the resulting data accessible and usable. To this end, the survey tool includes a modular design of six sections: household information, farmer information, agricultural information, land ownership, land use and agricultural activities, tree planting, and livestock.
The design follows the below principles:
Short and focused
|The sampling procedure is designed to last no more than one hour from greeting to goodbye. The survey should take no longer than 30 minutes with additional time allotted for greetings, introductions, and, significantly, the area measurement of each farmer’s largest plot.|
|The survey language and focus is not regionalized or localized. All questions should be applicable (once translated) and relevant in any agricultural context world-wide.|
Easy to use
|The tool is built to run on Open Data Kit (ODK). An ODK-based survey can run on nearly any Android phone or tablet, giving organizations the flexibility to choose from a broad range of devices based on availability, budget, hardware specifications, and more.The tool is packaged with comprehensive supporting materials culled from our experiences piloting the tools and the observations of many others who have implemented ODK survey over the past 3 years. Included in this documentation is: