IFC Project- Biweekly Meeting 6- Last Two Weeks’ Reporting Experience by the Field Team- 14 March 2022

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Tekalign (FR-Assela): Because I’ve been keeping my records on paper, the fact that the query has arrived has helped me. The last two weeks have been great. People were calm, and because it is fasting season, and they only have one season job unless they sell milk products, they haven’t had much business in recent weeks. As a result, they’ve been available to me. When it comes to selling their items, they don’t sell anything unless it’s for an emergency necessity because the price of food oil is rising owing to inflation. At the moment, the price has risen to 4,200 ETB (82 USD). They also told me that the price of fertilizer per quintal was up to 1800 last year, but is now around 4000, indicating the rapid pace of inflation. As a result, there haven’t been as many transactions as expected.

When it came to the special survey, it was quite lengthy, so I only synced one of the two, and I’m only halfway through the other. Because all the questions are almost the same, they have been asking questions like “why are you keep asking me the same questions?”.  They also don’t grasp the difference and explaining it to them took some time. The data checking is going well, but I’m having trouble responding with 0 and leaving it there because it keeps saying that “your storage quantity is larger than your consumption”, and I can’t move on to the next stage.

Ibrahim (FR-Bekoji): The treader survey was the most difficult thing I had to deal with these past 2 weeks. Because they were not present on the scheduled appointment day, I was unable to find them. Another issue was that, in relation to the survey, they informed me that the government wants the barley price to be reduced, therefore they are not selling anything. When I asked why, they said it was because the government wants the barley price to decrease and some of them explained that it’s because they’ve sold everything and only had enough for daily use.  Others told me they don’t want to sell it right now, while others claimed it’s because the government doesn’t want the barleys to be sold so that the price would decrease. I’ve brought it up because the issue is comparable to that of Tekalign. But the price has increased from 4,200 ETB (82 USD) to 4,300 ETB (84 USD).

The trader survey was broad and beyond their understanding as Tekalgne mentioned before. I couldn’t reach them today due to their busy schedule, but I’ll be able to finish it by Thursday. There were also three respondents who turned off their phones and I was unable to meet with them, but availability was greater than last time because it was fasting season and they didn’t have much to do. When it comes to fertilizer, it is the new item I added to the expense category, and they have been purchasing 50-kilo fertilizer for 1,050 ETB (20.5 USD) and 100-kilo fertilizer for 2,100 ETB (41 USD). And I will insert the blank data on finbit because I have it in my notebook and I will be able to finalize it. Both crop rotation and data checking went smoothly, however when it came to crop rotation, I put the same thing in English and Oromigna, and when I filled the English data, the Oromigna appeared again, and I had to fill that too as well, so I was practically doing the same thing twice. Apart from that, everything was OK.

Samuel (FR-Butajira): There hasn’t been anything new in the past two weeks, which has been good. The trader survey was a bit of a difficulty for me; I had trouble finding the traders because they aren’t sustainably working in one place. Also, there are some people who bought it directly from the farmer, but the majority got it from the market, and because they’re in the vegetable sector, they can’t store it, so they’ll buy it from one market and immediately sell it to another, making it even more difficult to find them. I even completed several questions over the phone with one of my respondents. which results in difficulty to finalize what I have started. Another issue was that there was a problem with question repetition; there were also people who said things like “this has nothing to do with me,” and one of them even said, “I don’t know anything about digitalization, and I don’t even use a smartphone.” When I questioned them about insurance, they said that it was either for automobiles or for buildings. So, out of all the special surveys, the trader survey was the most difficult for me to complete. When it came to crop rotation, I had some issues, just like Tekalgne, but now everything is well.

Tigist (FR-Dangla): Because they were unavailable, I had some difficulty meeting up with them. But the trader’s survey was a major challenge for me; they were uninterested, and from the 5 respondents, 1 refused to answer the questions. I synced the last four respondents, which took a long time. I interviewed three of them over the phone, and it was very time taking. Two of them provided me with accurate information, and one even stated, “I am not utilizing any digitalized approach since my friends have tried it and it hasn’t worked well for them, so I don’t want to take a risk” They also informed me that the farmers do not gain significant benefits from their goods. The traders have declined to be interviewed because they believe the issue is tied to the government. And they’ve been asking when I’ll be done with the surveys since they’re growing bored of answering them. The data check is going well, and on the crop rotation, they are done harvesting it but didn’t store it yet.

Melesech (FR-Jawi): I don’t have much to add because it is similar to what others said. The diaries were going well in general. Once we became familiar with them, they began telling us about their every expense detail, and rather than meeting with just the farmer, I found that meeting with their entire family was preferable because I was able to obtain more information. There was nothing much to record when it came to income because they had already sold their goods and the remaining was solely for daily use and storage unless they were working a second job. The problem I had was that three of the five traders were very busy and unavailable, and they were becoming bored because the questions were a little long. I only found the two traders, both of whom were quite helpful and provided me with detailed information. They even took me to their warehouse to show me around and notify me that the lack of insurance is causing them great hardship.

During the last two weeks, crop rotation has been good. Because they didn’t have much job to do, they were more available than the last time. The other difficulty was the boredom of being asked questions. Apart from that, it was a good week.