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Introducing Recordkeeping to Farmers Receiving Technical ...

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By Howard FentonUniversity of Wisconsin-ExtensionCooperative Extension
Introducing Recordkeeping to Farmers Receiving Technical Assistance from International Aid Organizations
Getting control of the production process.Showing how labor could be used more productively.Stepping up food production.An important input that positively influences the economic results on the farm.Keeping physical records has a significantly greater influence on farm output than does keeping financial records.
Potential Benefits from Recordkeeping

Benefits of Record Keeping
Ernest Cummings: “If you want to manage and get ahead then you have to think of little ways to do so with cutting costs and everything. This is something new and I would never have thought of it.”
Benefitsof Record Keeping
Sigmund McKenzie, Farmer to Farmer Field Officer and shade house producer. Uses a simple record keeping system to improve planning and decision-making.
The volunteer in relationship with the farmer.The volunteer in relationship with the host organization staff.The host organization staff in relationship with the farmer.The farmer in relationship with other farmers.
Capacity Building
Partners of the Americas, Farmer-to-Farmer Flex Program
My assignment was to demonstrate a simple method of keeping written records of crop production activities and resources used during the crop production cycle. The goal was to help farmers better manage costs and physical resources.
Acquiring new knowledge.Having a dialogue.Giving learners some ownership in the learning process.Practical experience to enhance learning.Shared learning.
Participatory Learning
Select a crop for demonstration purposes.Identify all the activities in the production cycle.Group activities based on the similarity of their purpose.Set up the record keeping book.Record financial, physical units and personal labor for each activity throughout the production cycle.Total results and prepare a simple income statement to determine net income and return for each hour of personal labor.
A Participatory Approach
In our example a singlemanzana(about 1.7 acres) of land yielded a return of$7,460Lempira. For an estimated23days of personal labor that works out to about $L324per day (ora little more than $US8day at an exchange rate of $L19 = $US1).
A Teachable Moment
Roy Lara, aFUCOHSOagronomist and Program Leader, uses the results from our demonstrationtoemphasize some financial advantagesofsubstituting expensive store-bought fertilizers with organic, homegrown fertilizers.
Are volunteer visits a good investment? Are they effective?How do we know?Surveys:Pre-workshop.Post-workshop. Focus on adapting rather than adopting?Months/years later.
Next Steps
Do you have any questions?My questionsfor you:What major core idea did you get from this session?What were you hoping to hear but didn’t?
Howard FentonUW-Extension, Cooperative Extension432 N. Lake StreetMadison, WI 53706608-263-0758 (w) or 608-228-2202 (c)[email protected]
Introducing Recordkeeping to Farmers Receiving Technical Assistance from International Aid Organizations





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