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### Area and Yields in rice fileds in the Mekong Delta

Hi Flore. Interested to read of your statistical doubts. Im writing up some field work on yields and inputs and there are a couple of little pit falls you may be unaware of: 1 Area. Farmers with only a couple of hectares of land or less often express area in công, which is 0.1 hectare, but there is also an older measure, the farmers công which is about 0.12 of a hectare, and before that there was a previous unit, old farmers or government công, (and I cant find the definition of that today, but its babout 960sq metres). Many farmers in An Giang Province, where I have been working, express their land area in farmers công 2 In addition ,yields may be expressed in 'gia', a basket of 40 litres, rather than kg. The weight in here will depend on variety, water content and how much chaff there is in there as well. When farmers are calculating the cost of their inputs they may express each one as a number of gia, including labour, getting water out of the field and getting it in again, harvesting and transport, repairing the dykes. So, don't get too upset by this lack of clarity, no ones trying to pull the wool over your eyes--there are lots of transformations going on along the line. I dont think its so much self deception, as an amazing ability to do mental arithmetic and round up, or down, inconvenient remainders. I try and work by making comparisons, % increse or % decrease, rather than use absolute figures. I hope this helps, but it may welll bring on another grey layer of statistical confusion! Regards Charles