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Annex A. Market survey questionnaire

The following questionnaire is based on a guide prepared for rural markets (FAO, 1978) adjusted to make it applicable to the range of markets considered in this manual. Much of the information can be collected by direct observation and by questioning the market staff. However, for more complex situations, and to provide quantitative data, the use of sample questionnaires and traffic counts, described in Chapter 3 and Annex B. will also need to considered.

A.1 Market identification

Name and exact location of market: map reference, street, district, etc.

A.2 Responsible agencies

Name of the agency or body (e.g. municipality, local government, etc.) immediately responsible for management of the market. If more than one agency is involved in different aspects of market operations (such as ownership, supervision, taxation, management, operation, etc.) the name should be given of each agency and its responsibilities,

A.3 Frequency of operation

Whether the market opens daily, twice a week, once a week, etc.

A.4 Catchment area

The area served or covered by the market. How this is defined will depend on the role of the market and whether it is providing an outlet for the sale of produce to traders as well as consumers (see A5 below).

a. Names of the villages or urban areas served (i.e. consumer sales) and their total population;
b. Names of the villages or areas sending produce to the market;
c. Total cultivated area (hectares) in these villages, and, if possible the total production by major commodities; and
d. Total population, divided by gender, and number of farm households involved with sending produce to the market.

A.5 Role of the market

The overall role of the market and its significance (if any) in farmers' marketing activities. These characteristics should be expressed in the following manner:

a. basic role, i.e. rural or urban, role in assembly or wholesaling, etc.;
b. estimated total sales (in value and in quantity) of agricultural produce at the market, i.e. sales per day on an average day and on a peak day, and sales per year;
c. estimated total sales (in value) of daily necessities bought by the farmers using the market (if relevant), i.e. sales per day on an average day, and a peak day, and sales per year;
d. estimated number of people who visit the market (divided into consumers, farmers, etc.) on an average day, on a peak day, and in a year, and the distance travelled by people visiting the market, i.e. average, most distant, etc.; and
e. estimated marketable surplus of the major agricultural crops (in value and quantity) from the market's catchment area and its estimated percentage share, i.e. the marketable surplus passing through the surveyed market against other markets or alternative channels (e.g. auto-consumption by producers themselves, sales to supermarkets, direct supplies to institutions, etc.).

A.6 Physical facilities

Physical facilities and equipment available for the market operations and the extent of the utilization of such facilities - such as utilization rate in terms of the capacity or the number of persons utilizing the facilities on an average day. The data would include:

a. market area (in square metres) and a map, or at least a simple sketch layout of the market;
b. details of buildings (structure and floor space in square metres), such as offices, market sheds, latrines, storage;
c. marketing equipment (size and quantity), such as weighing scales, moisture meters; and
d. other facilities, such as the provision of drinking water, paved market yard, animal loading platforms, electricity, telephone, etc.

This information could be tabulated as follows;

Facilities Size or capacity (number and/or mē) Construction (timber, steel or concrete?) Utilization rate (% of capacity used on an average day)
Market yard (paved area)      
Roads and parking      
Offices/administration buildings      
Traders' sheds or stalls:      
fruit and vegetables      
household goods      
clothing, etc.      
Open sales areas      
fruit and vegetables      
Other facilities;      
drinking water      
weighing scales      
moisture meters,      
grading equipment      
banana ripening rooms      
loading platform      
cow shed/holding pens      
storage areas, etc.      
Market area (overall)      

A.7 Market Staff Number of market staff and other market functionaries (full time and part time) and their functions;

Market staff Number Full time or part time Main job Source of salary
Manager or market master        
Accounts clerks        
Grading technicians        
Commission agents        
Weighing men        
Toll collectors        
Porters Labourers/Cleaners        

A. 8 Market fees and other charges

a. What is the mechanism for the collection of market fees and other charges/ceases, including rents:

Fees Who pays? On what basis? How much? How is it collected? Who collects it?
Market fee          
Grading fee          
Weighing fee          
Animal holding fee          
Storage fee, etc.          

b. What is the total amount of market fees and charges collected:

c. How are the market fees and charges utilized:

Whether kept in a special or general account, paid into local revenue office, paid to private traders, unaccounted etc.; and

whether used specifically for market operation, market investment, general revenue of the local government, or revenue of the collector, etc.

A.9 Trading practices

Details of trading practices:

a. price-setting: how is the price set for the major commodities traded at the market (closed or open bidding, individual bargaining, etc.)?

Fees Average day Peak day Annual total Account held in Use of fees
Market fee          
Grading fee          
Weighing fee          
Animal holding fee          
Storage fee, etc.          
Total Amount          

b. weighing and measurement: how is weighing and measurement done and by whom (buyer, seller, market staff, or paid weighing man on a fee basis, etc.)?

c. payment procedures: how is payment for the commodities sold made (on-the-spot in cash, cash through the market office, coupon to be cashed later, etc.)?

A.10 Price Variations

The purpose of collecting information on prices is to provide information for the financial analysis of a project. Questions on price variations should be limited to one or two selected major commodities, such as the main fruits and vegetables and, if applicable, to eggs and livestock. The prices on the same day or at least in the same week should be compared, specifying the quality of the produce and the unit used. Preferably a day in the peak season should be selected.

a. seasonal price variation: monthly price variation of the selected major commodities sold at the market:

Month Main vegetable Fruit Potatoes Eggs Livestock Other
March, etc.            

b. price variations between neighbouring markets: compare the prices at the surveyed "base market" with two or three similar neighbouring markets:

  Distance in km. Vegetables per unit Fruit per unit Potato, etc. per unit
Base Market        
Market A        
Market B        
Market C        

c. price margins: a rural or urban retail market is linked with a larger secondary (assembly or wholesale) market. Compare the prices at the "base market" with the connecting secondary market:

  Main vegetable Fruit Potato Other
Price at the base market        
Name of the secondary market        
Price at the secondary market        
Distance in km. from the base market        

A.11 Supporting services

Define supporting services available for the retailers or farmers, either at the market or from nearby extension service offices. a. price information at the market (not general price information announced by mass media) expressed as follows:

b. grading, cleaning, drying and storage services available on or nearby the market area:

Services Commodities (1) Fees (2) Who provides the service? Is the service compulsory?


1. Commodities for which the services are available
2. Per unit. Specify unit

c. extension services available within or nearby the market:

Services Place Number of of visitors on market day Responsible agency Means of publicity of service Opening times and frequency of service
Farming extension          
Family planning          
Marketing extension          

A.12 Future plans

Obtain details of existing development plans to be implemented within the next five years, giving a brief description of the main proposals, under the following headings;

A.13 Existing problems

Identify existing problems limiting efficiency in the use the market. The questions should be put to market staff, traders and farmers::

A.14 Market improvements

A.15 Paying for market improvements

As a final question ask whether the farmers and traders will be willing to pay for improving the market or will expect the costs to borne by local or central government.

Annex B. Roadside survey methodology

Often the only available estimates of throughput at markets are from indirect data sources, which is frequently found to be inadequate. It may be necessary, therefore, to undertake detailed surveys of actual daily produce flows at a market (preferably for a whole week during the peak season), including art assessment of produce origin and destination, the types of vehicles using the market and the variations in trade between different days of the week. The purpose of the following note is to provide a basis for undertaking such detailed surveys.

Survey methodology

The methodology adopted in detailed roadside surveys should be based around using a standard survey form, which is shown in Box 13. A pilot survey should be run for one day, from which should be determined the number of enumerators and their position within the market. A complex market, for example. might require a total of 5 to 10 enumerators each day, whilst a simple street market could be handled by one or a pair of enumerators. The standard survey form can be used both by enumerators stationed at approach roads to a market, recording vehicle entry and exit, and by enumerators within a market who may be interviewing truck drivers and traders. The two data sets can be linked in the office by using the vehicle registration numbers.

BOX 13
Standard form for a roadside survey of commodity flows

Note: each row in the form is to be used for a single set of observations i.e. an entry or exit of a vehicle (representing a "record" in a database or a "row" in a spreadsheet)

Name of market
Name of reporter
In or out
Survey location
Sheet no.

Refer- ence code Time of entry or exit Vehicle type and reg. no. Vehicle load (tons) Main commodities on vehicle (by % of load) Origin or Trader or dest- ination Farmer's Driver?

The method of analysis of the survey should be to enter each row of data from the survey forms (i.e. vehicle movement on a single day) as a separate "record" in a computerized programme. All coding of the data should be undertaken in the office. It is critical that a standardised approach is taken to estimating and defining the loads on vehicles, i.e. an overall tonnage for each vehicle type and standard weights per bag or bundle, depending on the type of produce.

Data can be analysed using a standard statistical package and then exported to a spreadsheet package for the presentation of tables and charts. For a simple survey, or if data base/statistical packages are not available, it is possible to use only a spreadsheet package. In this case, all the data for the market for each day of the survey should be entered as a "row" into a single daily master spreadsheet. These data would then be sorted in a defined sequence, usually starting with incoming and outgoing traffic as the "initial sort" (termed as the "primary key").

Survey results

The type of results that can be derived from an analysis of the survey data are shown in the following tables (Tables a to e). For example, the survey results can be used to derive average daily throughputs based on the incoming volumes to the market. This information is usually recorded during the survey by two methods: an overall estimate of vehicle load and a detailed estimate by type of crop and package (i.e. sacks of rice, bunches of bananas, baskets of tomatoes, etc.). The two methods should give very similar results. However, there can be a discrepancy between the figures for incoming volumes and those for the outgoing produce. This difference is a normally a reflection of the difficulty of recording the many small loads taken out of retail markets by porters and individual consumers. To obtain a more reliable picture of outgoing loads an intensive survey would be required.

Ideally, to estimate the annual throughput of a market requires that the survey should be run at other periods to determine more precisely the seasonal variations (i.e peak and off-peak). If this is not possible, then assumptions will need to be made about the period over which the peak throughput will last (e.g. one or two months a year) and what relationship there is between the peak and off-peak throughputs. This type of adjustment will be most important for markets dealing directly with producers, particularly rural assembly markets.

(a) Volume and turnover of produce (average over survey days)

Type of incoming produce (tons) Volume US$'000 Turnover
1. Tomato    
2. Potato, etc.    

(b) Origin and destination of produce (average over survey days)

Origin/destination of produce by region Incoming vehicles: Outgoing vehicles:
tons No. % tons No. %
1. Within urban area            
2. From/to Region A            
2. From/to Region B. etc.            

(c) Time analysis of all vehicles using a market

Time of day (in hourly bands) Vehicles bringing produce (daily average): Hourly Average:
Vehicle entry: Vehicle exit: No. of vehicles % of total
Hourly Cumul. Hourly Cumul.
midnight - 5 am            
5- 6am            
6- 7am            
7- 8am. etc.            

(d) Analysis of types of vehicles using the markets

Type of vehicle Number of vehicles (all survey days): Average daily:
Bringing produce Taking produce. Empty vehicles Total vehicles Total vehicles % total
1. Trucks            
2. Lorries            
3. Pickups            
4. Handcarts            
5. Private cars            
5. Buses, etc.            

(e) Estimated annual market throughput (tons)

Type of produce Peak daily Average daily Annual total
1. Bulbs, roots & tubers      
2. Sweet bananas      
3. Cooking bananas      
4. Green, leafy vegetables      
5. Tomatoes, chillies, etc.      
6. Citrus fruit      
7. Other tropical fruit, etc.      
Total Horticultural crops      


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