Step 2: Representing the actors within the system
There are two main ways of representing the actors within the system:
- Where individuals within the household have different sources of agricultural land, land is managed separately and produce may be disposed of autonomously, then land use may be represented separately for different individuals.
- Where individuals within one household contribute to a single farming system using a common source of land, land use is best represented at the household level. This is common in patriarchal societies and where farming activities are highly integrated. Decision making, responsibility and the labour used for different activities may be represented using annotations for different members of the household.
E.g. amongst the Ashanti in cocoa growing areas of southern Ghana a proportion of married women have their own cocoa farms. These farms are acquired as gifts from their husbands during marriage in reciprocation for labour used on the husband's farm, from an ex-husband on divorce, or they may be established by the woman herself on land that she has acquired through her own matrilineal family. In any case women manage their own farms separately from those of their husbands and receive all income from these farms without having to account for it to their husbands. This is in contrast to activities undertaken by women on the farms of their husbands. Women provide substantial labour inputs on these farms but decisions are made by the husband and income from these farms is controlled by the man.
Where the first method of representation is chosen individuals are represented by adding coloured boxes to the system diagram. Activities and land use for these individuals will be added to the boxes in the following steps. Where the diagram focuses on the household as a whole (as in method 2) annotations are added to the diagram later to illustrate the activities of different individuals.