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Mapping in agricultural development : introducing GIS at at smallholder farmers' cooperative in Malawi

Ulander Walleij, Ellen LU (2016) In Thesis in geographical information technology EXTL01 20151
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Surveying (M.Sc.Eng.)
Abstract
Malawi is a country in southern Africa and considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. The main part of the population lives in rural areas and is completely depending on farming for their livelihood. There are, however, no records of land registration or tenure for the smallholder farmer.

The use of geographical information systems, GIS, is increasing around the world. At a smallholder farmers' cooperative in Malawi, NASFAM, there is a desire to map size and location of all fields and houses of member farmers. This data are expected to improve planning and evaluations of NASFAM's operations hence improve the living conditions of the farmers.

As a way of testing the possibilities with GIS at NASFAM, a pilot study in... (More)
Malawi is a country in southern Africa and considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. The main part of the population lives in rural areas and is completely depending on farming for their livelihood. There are, however, no records of land registration or tenure for the smallholder farmer.

The use of geographical information systems, GIS, is increasing around the world. At a smallholder farmers' cooperative in Malawi, NASFAM, there is a desire to map size and location of all fields and houses of member farmers. This data are expected to improve planning and evaluations of NASFAM's operations hence improve the living conditions of the farmers.

As a way of testing the possibilities with GIS at NASFAM, a pilot study in the project was implemented. In this phase different methods for education and measurements have been tested in order to evaluate their feasibility to be included in recommendations for continued work.

To introduce GIS in the organisation, trainings were held with field staff. Trainings were also held with the people who were assigned to collect the requested points. To investigate the opinions on this project among field staff, interviews were conducted with staff representing districts in various parts of Malawi. When the necessary data had been collected they were compiled and analysed.

Results observed after the study lead to conclusions about continuous work. One issue that has to be solved is how measurement of locations should be performed. In the pilot study people with a low level of education were taught how to collect points with a GPS-receiver because they were farmers themselves and had the local knowledge how to find the farmers. Errors in the measurements could be seen, for example an insufficient amount of measurement points. This was due to lack of basic understanding of the methodology and purpose of the assignment.

To map all farmers in NASFAM is extremely time-consuming and the measurements might have to be redone every year due to change of field alignments and usages. If a project like this is to be performed on a large scale, it is important that NASFAM views it as a long term commitment and that all staff have understanding of the purpose and benefits but also possible problems. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Malawi är ett land i södra Afrika och betraktas som ett av de fattigaste länderna i världen. Befolkningen lever framför allt på landsbygden och är helt beroende av jordbruk för att överleva. Det finns dock inga register och ingen säkerställd rättighet över marken de brukar.

Användandet av geografiska informationssystem, GIS, ökar runt om i världen. Hos ett jordbrukskooperativ i Malawi, NASFAM, finns en ambition att kartlägga var alla dess medlemmar bor och hur mycket mark var och en brukar. Denna information förväntas sedan kunna förbättra planering och utvärdering av projekt och på så sätt förbättra levnadsvillkoren för lantbrukarna.

För att undersöka förutsättningarna för GIS inom NASFAM har en pilotstudie för projektet gjorts. I... (More)
Malawi är ett land i södra Afrika och betraktas som ett av de fattigaste länderna i världen. Befolkningen lever framför allt på landsbygden och är helt beroende av jordbruk för att överleva. Det finns dock inga register och ingen säkerställd rättighet över marken de brukar.

Användandet av geografiska informationssystem, GIS, ökar runt om i världen. Hos ett jordbrukskooperativ i Malawi, NASFAM, finns en ambition att kartlägga var alla dess medlemmar bor och hur mycket mark var och en brukar. Denna information förväntas sedan kunna förbättra planering och utvärdering av projekt och på så sätt förbättra levnadsvillkoren för lantbrukarna.

För att undersöka förutsättningarna för GIS inom NASFAM har en pilotstudie för projektet gjorts. I pilotstudien har olika metoder för undervisning och datainsamling testats och utvärderats för att kunna dra slutsatser om och hur de bör tas med i rekommendationer för hur projektet ska fortsätta.

Utbildning hölls för fältpersonal för att introducera GIS i organisationen. Det hölls också utbildning för de som fått i uppdrag att samla in de efterfrågade punkterna. För att undersöka åsikterna kring projektet bland anställda hölls intervjuer med personal från de olika distrikten. När tillräcklig data hade samlats in kunde de sammanställas och analyseras.

Resultaten som kunde observeras efter studien ledde till slutsatser om hur arbetet kan fortsätta. Ett problem som måste beaktas är hur datainsamling ska genomföras. I pilotstudien instruerades personer med en relativt låg utbildningsnivå i att samla in begärda data med GPS-mottagare eftersom de själva är lantbrukare med lokalkännedom och vet var de eftersökta lantbrukarna bor. Det kunde dock konstateras vissa felaktigheter med mätningarna, som exempelvis ett otillräckligt antal punkter. Detta kan bero på bristfällig förståelse för uppgiften, metoden och syftet.

Att kartlägga alla lantbrukare inom NASFAM är mycket tidskrävande och mätningarna behöver eventuellt upprepas varje år, allt eftersom lantbrukare byter fält med varandra. Om ett sådant projekt ska genomföras i någon större skala krävs det att organisationen betraktar det som ett långsiktigt engagemang och att alla anställda har en grundläggande förståelse för syftet och de fördelar som kan uppnås med användandet men också insikt om möjliga problem. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ulander Walleij, Ellen LU
supervisor
organization
course
EXTL01 20151
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
jordbruksutveckling, geografiska informationssystem, cooperative, mapping, development, Malawi, agricultural development, Geographical information systems, GIS, utveckling, kartläggning, kooperativ
publication/series
Thesis in geographical information technology
report number
18
language
English
id
8873035
date added to LUP
2016-05-19 12:40:44
date last changed
2016-07-01 12:53:14
@misc{8873035,
  abstract     = {Malawi is a country in southern Africa and considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. The main part of the population lives in rural areas and is completely depending on farming for their livelihood. There are, however, no records of land registration or tenure for the smallholder farmer.

The use of geographical information systems, GIS, is increasing around the world. At a smallholder farmers' cooperative in Malawi, NASFAM, there is a desire to map size and location of all fields and houses of member farmers. This data are expected to improve planning and evaluations of NASFAM's operations hence improve the living conditions of the farmers.

As a way of testing the possibilities with GIS at NASFAM, a pilot study in the project was implemented. In this phase different methods for education and measurements have been tested in order to evaluate their feasibility to be included in recommendations for continued work.

To introduce GIS in the organisation, trainings were held with field staff. Trainings were also held with the people who were assigned to collect the requested points. To investigate the opinions on this project among field staff, interviews were conducted with staff representing districts in various parts of Malawi. When the necessary data had been collected they were compiled and analysed.

Results observed after the study lead to conclusions about continuous work. One issue that has to be solved is how measurement of locations should be performed. In the pilot study people with a low level of education were taught how to collect points with a GPS-receiver because they were farmers themselves and had the local knowledge how to find the farmers. Errors in the measurements could be seen, for example an insufficient amount of measurement points. This was due to lack of basic understanding of the methodology and purpose of the assignment.

To map all farmers in NASFAM is extremely time-consuming and the measurements might have to be redone every year due to change of field alignments and usages. If a project like this is to be performed on a large scale, it is important that NASFAM views it as a long term commitment and that all staff have understanding of the purpose and benefits but also possible problems.},
  author       = {Ulander Walleij, Ellen},
  keyword      = {jordbruksutveckling,geografiska informationssystem,cooperative,mapping,development,Malawi,agricultural development,Geographical information systems,GIS,utveckling,kartläggning,kooperativ},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Thesis in geographical information technology},
  title        = {Mapping in agricultural development : introducing GIS at at smallholder farmers' cooperative in Malawi},
  year         = {2016},
}