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Abstract

Externally designed strategies for improving the farm enterprise and reduce poverty among rural households may not produce desired results. For farm households to adopt economic approaches such as record keeping and management, innovative approaches that are participatory and which build on their indigenous knowledge are better. The value of farm level record keeping has been known for many decades now, yet many farmers in developing countries do not keep records. This paper presents the outcome of using innovative approaches that involved a rural community in a rural Ghanaian community. This research used consultation, village level meetings and participatory approaches to design user-friendly systems. This resulted in systems with which they can cope and which continued after the programme was over. There is the need to improve rural livelihoods by building on indigenous knowledge and using approaches that achieve greater productivity, efficiency, equity, profitability and sustainability. The findings show that rural households are knowledgeable and have the ability to decide on data collection formats that suit their needs.

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