Effective methods for data collection in rural setup: A pilot study focusing on Agricultural practices in North Kinangop, Nyandarua County, Kenya
Gichuhi, Margaret Wachu
Scott, David Steven
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Agriculture sector in Kenya plays a vital role in achieving sustainable development goals of ending poverty, hunger and economic growth in the country. Conducting research on how this sector can be improved is imperative in order to improve the lives of the citizens, especially those in the rural areas. The quality of any research is highly dependent on the way data is collected. However, very little research exists that shows the most effective ways of collecting data especially in rural areas. This pilot study aimed at identifying effective data collection methods and techniques among farmers in rural areas in Kenya. To achieve this, four data collection methods were tested: Interviews, Digital Story Telling, Focus Groups and Rich Pictures that was conducted on different respondents in North Kinangop. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Results obtained showed that no single data collection method is adequate to address all the research objectives. Data collection methods have strengths and weaknesses that can be balanced out by using different techniques. Digital Story Telling and Rich pictures are ideal for exploring options and therefore tend to be useful during problem identification. Interviews and Focus groups are ideal for addressing specific objectives and therefore should be used after the problem identification phase when objectives have been set. The findings highlight the importance of selecting effective data collection methods when conducting research among farmers in rural Kenya. Further research needs to be conducted with large number of respondents to validate these methods.