Four cell analysis: understanding local crop diversity

What is Four Cell Analysis?

It is a technique to assess the abundance and distribution of local crop diversity within farming communities. It takes into account richness and evenness aspects of inter- or intra specific diversity. This participatory tool was used to map out fruit tree diversity in the home gardens and orchards of communities of the project. When repeated over time it can give valuable insight into the rate of loss of diversity in that specific area.

What is the purpose?

·         To measure the abundance (richness) and distribution (evenness) of local crop diversity

·         To identify common, unique and rare/endangered varieties or species

·         To understand and document reasons why each variety is in a dynamic state within  a

          community and to enhance knowledge for potential intervention

How does it work?

The method starts with a focus group discussion among farmers from a specific village. The target fruit trees are categorized into four groups using two indicators; abundance (many or few trees) and spread (many or few households). The farmers list all the varieties that thrive within their village boundaries. The group then identifies whether a certain variety is abundant or rare and maintained across many or few households by using a chart (besides) and place each variety in one of the four corresponding cells.

This is complemented by visiting four or five gardens to validate findings. Analysis of the results provides usefull insights in the common pattern between land allocation and crop diversity.

When is the tool used?

  • To document the key reasons why varieties are in a certain dynamic stage
  • To empower farming communities by enabling self directed conservation and development action plans
  • To make farming communities aware of the threat of genetic erosion
  • To identify potential interventions within a community

(Reference: Sthapit B, Rana RB, Subedi A, Gyawali S, Bajracharya J, Chaudhary P, Joshi BK, Sthapit S, Joshi KD, Upadhyay MP. 2006. Participatory four cell analysis (FCA) for local crop diversity. In: Sthapit, BR, Shrestha PK and Upadhyay MP 2006. Good practices: On-farm management of agricultural biodiversity in Nepal, NARC, LI-BIRD, IPGRI and IDRC)

Sabah, Malaysia & Magetan, Indonesia
Sabah, Malaysia & Magetan, Indonesia

Malihabad, India & Chantaburi, Thailand
Malihabad, India & Chantaburi, Thailand


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83 pdf Guideline - Four cell analysis.pdf 30 June, 2014 12:19 MYT by h.lamers@cgiar.org 402.97 Kb 883 View Download