Incorporating Seasonality into Agricultural Project Design and Learning

Volume 41 Number 6
Published: November 1, 2010
Seasonality can be extremely damaging to the lives and livelihoods of rural people, but this is rarely recognised and factored into the design and implementation of agricultural projects. During the annual hungry season, farmers face empty granaries, high food prices and water borne diseases, which compel them to adopt ‘coping strategies’ that perpetuate poverty ratchets. Seasonal employment programmes can smooth income and consumption but could overburden women, since seasonal workloads are highly gendered. Incorporating a seasonal perspective into agricultural programming requires building a seasonality assessment into the baseline survey and design phase of agricultural projects, reducing seasonal food insecurity by stabilising rather than maximising crop production, and enhancing seasonality awareness among agricultural advisers and project staff, in each local context. Incorporating seasonality into M&E processes has implications for the timing and frequency of data collection, and requires a deeper understanding of the complexity of livelihood processes between and within rural households.


  • Agriculture
  • M&E
  • Seasonality
From Issue: Vol. 41 No. 6 (2010) | People-centred M&E: Aligning Incentives So Agriculture Does More to Reduce Hunger