DELPHI ANALYSIS OF CONSTRAINTS TO MAIZE PRODUCTION IN SELECTED AREAS OF SWAZILAND

  • J.S. Pali-Shikhulu Malkerns Research Station, Private Bag 4, Malkerns, Swaziland
  • K.J.B. Keregero Faculty of Agriculture, University of Swaziland, Luyengo M205, Swaziland

Abstract

A descriptive Delphi study was conducted to: identify constraints to maize production on SNL from the perspectives of crop researchers, extension officers and farmers; categorise the constraints; rank them in order of importance; and identify ways of addressing them. A total of 33 constraint items were identified and classified into five domains, namely: socio-cultural, institutional, economic, technical and bio-physical constraints. Farmers identified more constraints in the institutional and economic domains; crop researchers in the technical and bio-physical domains; and extension officers in the bio-physical and socio-cultural domains. Overall, the highest number of constraints identified were in the bio-physical domain. The most commonly known constraints were: unfavourable rainfall distribution; lack of reliable sources of draught power; high cost of inputs; late removal of livestock from arable fields and communal grazing; and small household land holdings. The constraints considered most important included all those that were most commonly known, as well as: low quality seed; lack of finance; ineffective pest and weed control; plant diseases; and low soil fertility. Most of the actions for addressing constraints were suggested by farmers and extension officers rather than crop researchers. Farmers' responses were largely in terms of demands for assistance, while those of extension officers focused on the creation of extension opportunities for clientele.

(UNISWA J Agric: 2000 9: 67-78)
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eISSN: 1021-0873