This article reports on Tamil Nadu Agricultural University collaboration with the Ford Foundation in exploring the applicability of recent advances in farmer participatory research and extension methods to rainfed conditions in Tamil Nadu. It reports on exercises conducted over two days in Kalkaruchi village near Aruppukottai. It describes a sequence of participatory social and resource mapping exercises combined with wealth ranking that attempted to discover the poorest people in the village. The main lesson yielded from the study was that PRA methods revealed hidden complexity and can bring the poorest to the attention of investigators.
Agriculturalists and economists, and those working at the community and project level.