Research With Subsistence Farmers: Lessons From The Edge
The paper highlights recent fieldwork experiences among subsistence farmers in north-central Ethiopia. It begins by
describing two interrelated aspects of subsistence farmer-oriented research. These are planning the fieldwork and
increasing farmer response. It is noted that activities relating to each of these two have been mainly influenced by two
conventional assumptions: one is the view that farmers will not refuse to provide free information, and the other is the
notion that the ‘village’ provides the appropriate setting for gathering information. Challenges to both assumptions came
in the wake of sustained fieldwork-focused interaction with subsistence farmers.