Establishing a database for researchers about deciduous fruit production constraints of resource-limited farmers.
The aim of this project is to collect and consolidate information about resource-limited deciduous fruit growers in South Africa into a user-friendly database. In order to do so a suitable questionnaire has been formulated, tested and adapted to obtain all the relevant information relating to resource limited deciduous fruit growers. The Access database was chosen as the most efficient and user?friendly programme to store and manage large amounts of information.
A pilot survey was carried out in communities in the Eastern Cape, Kokstad region with the assistance of field workers and translators. The data collected during the Eastern Cape survey was imported into the Access database. After the survey the questionnaire and database were restructured accordingly. The questionnaire was modified to such an extent that it resulted in two questionnaires, one for personal information and the other for farming activities. Redesigning the format for information collection was done by restructuring the questionnaires according to data collection and the tables created in Access to store all collected data. Thus the formats of the questionnaires were changed. All data collected were stored onto the database. A relational database was created in order to relate tables, and create queries and forms.
Consolidation of all current information about resource-limited producers within the institute was completed. All the relevant information relating to the resource-limited deciduous fruit growers had to be extracted from previous questionnaires administered and this information was entered into the database.
The other districts in East Griqualand region (Eastern Cape) that were surveyed are Mount Frere, Flagstaff, Thabankulu and Umzimkulu. Extension officers were used as translators in each of the communities mentioned. The surveys were administered from 19-22 July 2000.
All communal gardens were surveyed on the basis that the entire communal group would complete a questionnaire on their individual personal details while the entire group would answer farming activity questionnaires. If any of the communal gardeners farmed independently as well, they would answer the farming activity questionnaire with regard to their personal farming practices.
Contact was made with various authorities and organisations in KwaZulu Natal to initiate a survey similar to that of the Eastern Cape. Based on the contacts a visit was arranged during July 2000 to KwaZulu Natal. The following areas were surveyed: Donnybrook, Centacow, Hlanganani, Underberg, Elandskop, Impendle, Valley Trust and Ndwedwe.
KwaZulu Natal in comparison to the Eastern Cape has a more active extension delivery service, providing communities with the information, resources and training required for deciduous fruit production. Regular visits are made to the communities. For this reason the gardens in KwaZulu Natal are in a reasonably good condition. The Department of Agriculture: Eastern Cape on the other hand is struggling as they have limited financial and technical support.
Mudzunga, M J, Lotz, E and Hart, T. 2003. Constrains experienced by emerging wine grape farmers. Paper presented at the 36th Conference of the South African Society for Agricultural Extension, May, Limpopo Province, South Africa.