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PLA Notes CD-ROM 1988-2001 10 Participatory budgets: a farm management type tool to assist farmers in their decision-making

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Document begins: PLA Notes CD-ROM 1988­2001 10 Participatory budgets: a farm management type tool to assist farmers in their decision-making Peter Dorward, Mark Galpin and Derek Shepherd The challenge The `mancala' board game is played throughout most of Africa, with rules differing This paper describes a method developed and slightly between areas (see Figures 1 and 2). It used in the field through on-going work at the is essentially a mathematical game and is University of Reading. The aim of the research played by literate and illiterate farmers with is to develop `farm management type' methods incredible speed and skill, demonstrating their which could be used by small-holder farmers, mathematical ability. Thus, it has been used by combining conventional farm management for ranking and scoring (see Barker 1979). tools with participatory methods. The method described has been used over a period of 18 Farmers' abilities to rank, score, diagram and months with over 250 farmers in rural analyse have been amply demonstrated by Zimbabwe. many practitioners of PRA. Thus, a combination of the techniques of ranking and Farm management tools try to assist farmers in scoring and the mathematical concepts of the their decision making, particularly with regard `mancala' game, ...

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