Assessment Tools

Licensed under a Creative Commons license.

This is our field-tested Farmer Development Chain (FDC) with its associated Sustainability Index (SI) Assessment Tool-set.  This has been developed and field-tested  with, by and for peasant family farmers over many years.  Application of the FDC and SI results in 100% success among peasant family farmers, provided the following four pillars of development are securely in place:

  • Permanent agri-inputs supply centres within easy reach that have everything the small farmers need at a price they can afford.
  • Permanent, responsive training, advisory and scientific services at low or zero cost.
  • Guaranteed local short-food-chain market/s, which the farmers should have a direct involvement in, with fair prices.
  • Easy access to grant capital for start-ups and development of existing projects right up to late livelihood level.  Micro-loans can begin at livelihood level. Then,  easy minimum red tape,  or better zero red tape access to zero-interest/low interest capital loans for those who want to advance to commercial.

The FDC and SI is adaptable to  every farming type, condition and situation, anywhere in Africa.  The version given here has been developed in an Urban and Peri-Urban context. There is now a Rural Version available on request. For more information or to request assistance to adapt to your context, contact

1. Explanation of the Farmer Development Chain – FDC on Page 2 of Abalimi Newsletter 36.

2. FDC Slide – an overview of the development phases with main characteristics of each phase.

3. Guide to using the Sustainability Index (SI) and interviewing.

4. SI interview questionnaire for Fieldworkers.

5. Section rating guide for SI questionnaire.

6. Income Rating Guide.

7. Sample stocktake list.

8. Sample completed questionnaire of the Asande community garden.

9. Assessment tool for Experts- guide for rapid assesments.