As implied above, there are many aspects to understanding the pattern of agricultural
production in a country. One aspect is that different crops have different production patterns
depending on land availability, soil productivity, weather, seed availability and access to
markets. Another aspect is whether households in an area are producing primarily for
subsistence (consumed on farm) or commercial (sold in the market) reasons. This will
impact on the volume of trade.
Appendix B provides a blank detailed step by step worksheet to identify the major historical
agricultural production patterns in a particular country. This worksheet could be used for
livestock as well, but it would have to concentrate on the distribution of animals. The
information generated using this worksheet should be printed and saved in a folder for use
during the monitoring and analysis of prices and markets. An example of a completed
worksheet for Zambia is presented in Figure 3.1.
Figure 3.1: Sample completed worksheet on agricultural production patterns
Print out a map of the country at the district level for each staple food and cash crops
Worksheet to identify historical agricultural production patterns
listed above that have a specific production pattern. If the district level is not available,
then print out a map at the provincial level.
: This worksheet will guide the analyst through a series of steps to identify the major
historical agricultural production patterns in their country. The steps described below are
For each major staple food crop, draw on one of the maps the area of the country where
intended to be sequential, and should be done in order. The objective for this worksheet is to
that food is the primary agricultural crop for a majority of the people.
have an spatial understanding of agricultural production patterns throughout the country. This
input will be very important in selecting which markets (in which parts of the country) will be
Use a thematic or GIS mapping software to prepare the maps sketched out in steps 4
monitored intensively, and which markets will be monitored extensively.
Write a brief summary of the insights you have learned from this process. Include in
the summary comments about:
Photocopy this worksheet. Use only the photocopy for the steps described below. The
For stable food crops:
original should remain unmarked in the manual for future use.
What is the major staple food crop grown in the country?
What other important staple food crops are grown in the
Fill out the table below answering the following questions:
Are there any staple food crops that are specific to (or
List the major staple food or cash crops produced in your country.
produced more in) a particular part of the country? If yes,
Is the crop a staple food or cash crop, or both.
what part of the country?
Rank each of each staple food crop in terms of its share of national
For cash crops:
What is the major cash crop grown in the country?
Rank in terms of share of national production.
What other important cash crops are grown in the country?
For each staple food or cash crop, state whether poorer households,
Are there any cash crops that are specific to (or produced
wealthier households, or all households produce that crop.
more in) a particular part of the country? If yes, what part
Indicate the major supply areas for each crop?
of the country?
Rank Rank Poor/wealthy/ Region
Name Cash, or as staple as cash all HH's?
Tips if the answers to the above questions are not easily available:
Both? crop? crop?
(d) (e) (f)
Try to identify any agricultural production studies that have been
done for your country. A good source to acquire these studies are
universities, donors (who sometimes fund these studies), other
government ministry offices, and NGOs.
Send out a very brief (2 3 questions) questionnaire to be completed
by extension workers to ask what are the agricultural production
patterns in their area.
All East, South,
All Whole country
Instructions to fill out the worksheet:
should be completed directly on a blank copy of the worksheet.
steps 3 through 5
of the above instructions, the following maps were