13th Congress Proceedings
The Need For Agricultural Data In South Africa: With Specific Reference To The Western Cape Province
In order for public and private decision-makers in the agricultural sector to use agricultural information for decision-making, solving problems or increasing their knowledge, the necessary data on agriculture must be available. As a result of the deregulation of the agricultural marketing sector in South Africa, the supply of this type of data has decreased. Also, the need for data on agriculture by the various decision-makers, i.e. the policy-makers, researchers, agricultural service industries as well as the farmers and extension officers, has changed. Since information systems are always based on the needs of the decision-makers, the need for data on agriculture should be determined before either existing methodologies are improved or new methodologies are introduced, to increase the supply of data on agriculture in South Africa. The objective of this paper is to identify the agricultural data needs and supply for South Africa with specific reference to the Western Cape Province. This was done by means of postal surveys and informal methods. Recommendations for an effective information system have also be concluded.