Agricultural data needs in South Africa
The deregulation of agricultural marketing resulted in a substantial increase in the need and simultaneously a decrease in the supply of agricultural data. Agricultural data needs also changed significantly. Agricultural data are needed for decision-making, problem solving, managing complexity and uncertainty, improving the competitive market and operational efficiency and also increased knowledge. Mail surveys on agricultural data users showed a significant need for certain categories of agricultural data. Policy-makers need data on quantity of import and exports, volume of production, institutional matters and infrastructure, economics and employment. Researchers need data on areas planted to annual crops, quantities of import and exports, economics, particulars of farming unit and institutional matters and infrastructure. Agribusinesses need data on yields, cost of production, institutional matters and infrastructure, particulars of farming units and economic data. Farmers need data on producer prices, prices of production inputs, employment, economic, institutional matters and infrastructure. Responsible agricultural data suppliers should now focus their efforts on the agricultural data needs as indicated by the users.
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