I would like to share my experience in data and information collection among farmers with the Indonesian Farmers Association.
Usually we contact farmers though the chief of village or farmers leader and invite them in a certain day/time and place. We have a preliminary discussion with the chiefs and send the questions in advance so that the leaders can respond generally to them to get an idea and have prior information. At the meeting we go deeper with farmers also one-by-one and get fresh information and do crosschecks when needed.
This was in the pre-pandemic situation, as currently gatherings are stopped and we only call on individuals.
It is important to note that in our rural areas there is a culture and tradition by which if we invite farmers we need to set up a type of ceremony: we have prayers, delivery speeches by chief of village or farmers leaders, open discussion and we prepare food. This is also the incentive. Meetings can be one day long and in some cases, since farmers dedicate a long time, we pay back the lost workday.
In addition to the chief, we also invite the extension workers: these are the ones who maintain the relations with the farmers and the leaders and already have a lot of data and information.
In the case of international donor-funded initiatives and the related Monitoring and Evaluation missions, in order to avoid farmers feeling this as a verification or audit, we prefer not to use the terms M&E and call them SIS - Supervision Implementation Support missions.
On communication: we communicate back results from the programme evaluations. Also in this case we have gatherings and we send in advance the highlights (summary) of the evaluation reports so that the farmers can react and disagree / respond during the meetings.
I hope this is useful information when approaching farmers for data collection and communication.
See my video here on the AFOSP-MTCP2 Indonesia Report: https://youtu.be/kICPu8tb7jc?list=PLtXDxoTN3R8ajQmREnrdJUEvXlwCCwaB6