The greatest challenge we faced was in designing a harvest diary to suit our needs. In a diary based survey, the design plays a huge role in determining if we are able to collect any usable information. A poorly designed diary can demotivate respondents and reduce compliance rates. We required a harvest diary that covered various farming practices throughout the paddy season in a manner that was both generalizable to all farmers and flexible enough to account for individual delays/modifications, and at the same time was intuitive to the farmers’ understanding of the crop cycle. We also wanted to make it approachable to illiterate respondents, yet at the same time, have the capability of collecting information in a manner usable for quantitative analysis. We went about this process by initially conducting a few exploratory surveys in order to better understand the various stages in the paddy growth cycle and how farmers thought about and planned these activities.
|Figure 1: Paddy Season in the Harvest Diary
The harvest diary split the paddy season into 6 major phases and 4 intermediate phases. The major phases entailed input intensive activities such as:
- 1st round of weeding and fertilizer application
- 2nd round of weeding and fertilizer application
- 3rd round of weeding and fertilizer application
|Figure 2: Input Details Page Corresponding to Phase 2 (transplanting) to Record Usage and Values
|Figure 3: Intermediate Phase Page Which Collects the Frequency of Application and Total Expense