Agricultural Biodiversity 4-Cell Focus Group Methodology

Using a 4-Cell participatory tool - we can identify and rank species regarding their availability and use i) on-farm ii) in the wild iii) in the markets and iv) in the diet. The tool creates an inventory of all useful plant and animal species that are cultivated or collected on farm in the communities being sampled and rank them in regards to how many households cultivate/collect and over what size land. The tool provides insights into how the nexus between Species' on-farm and in the wild availability, Market presence and relevance in the diet functions within the community. The next step is to rank how these species are sold and purchased on the market, using the 4-cell to identify how many households buy/sell and how frequently the transaction is done. Additional inventory is made of those species and foods that are purchased in the communities but not cultivated/reared/collected. The final step is to see how the species inventoried in the previous session are consumed, using the 4-cell to identify how many and how frequently households consume the foods. A final session on seed Systems helps to identify what the structure of local seed system is. A set of qualitative questions accompany each session (Availability, Markets, Diets and Seeds) which help provide additional information regarding the availability and use of species in the community. The tool can be used to identify best-bet entry points through answering research questions such as: 1. Which species can be promoted to improve dietary diversity and nutrition 2. Which species are underutilised or neglected and can they have a role in the local community 3. What are the relationships between farms, markets and diets and how can these be leveraged when designing an interventions

Summary of uses: Identifying entry points in agriculture - such as what species can be promoted for nutrition/diet, which species are underused, and the relationship between farms, markets and diets

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Data Types

AgroVoc Tags


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Additional Information

Field Value
Contributing organisations Bioversity International
Contact person Jessica Raneri
Alternate contact Mauricio Bellon
Target audience
When in the project cycle is the tool useful
Contribution to gender research
Spatial scale
Levels of organizations taken into account
Source of data
Expected output of tool
Type of assessment
Tool manual/User guide Bellon, M & Raneri, J (2013). Agricultural Biodiversity Assessment Four Cell Focus Group Methodology. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy
Citation Bellon, M & Raneri, J (2013). Agricultural Biodiversity Assessment Four Cell Focus Group Methodology. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy