Tools for understanding the agricultural production systems and their socio-economic context in target regions for the introduction of new banana cultivars: Community wealth ranking focus group discussion
Within the framework of the IITA-led project “Improvement of banana for smallholder farmers in the Great Lakes region of Africa” (also known as the “Breeding Better Bananas” project, http://breedingbetterbananas.org), Bioversity International and partners conducted baseline research in the target regions of Luwero and Mbarara in Uganda, and Bukoba, Meru, Moshi and Rungwe in Tanzania during 2015-2016, prior to conducting on-station and on-farm evaluations of the new NARITA banana cultivars.
Five tools were used to characterise the banana and agricultural production systems, and the socioeconomic context of these systems, in the target regions. The research used a mixed-methods, participatory and sex-disaggregated approach to ensure that the knowledge, experiences and opinions of as many people as possible were obtained.
The community wealth ranking FGD tool is used to discuss the different types of households who live in this community. A “Ladder of Life” exercise is used where the community is imagined as a ladder – at the top step are the ‘best-off’ households in the community and at the bottom step are the ‘worst-off’ households in the community. The characteristics of households at the different steps of the ladder are described and discussed. The information that is gathered during the exercise is used to understand the community structure in the village and how the banana production systems differ between them, and will help the researchers to plan any subsequent project activities that may take place in the village.