Information needs of communal cattle farmers in conservation and transfrontier areas: republic of South Africa - research.
The study investigated information needs of communal cattle farmers located on conservation and transfrontier areas in the Northern part of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. For triangulation of findings, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and 241 structured questionnaires were used. During focus group discussions, key findings showed that cattle management and handling as well as veterinary information are the most needed information by farmers from both study sites. Odds ratio estimates showed that older males (odds ratios 1.906 and 1.488) and literate farmers with tertiary education required more information on cattle management (odds ratio 5.878). Both study areas had common information needs on veterinary matters, conservation of cattle feeds, cattle management and handling as well as stock theft and depredation. This excludes alien invasive species which were reported to be a challenge by dominating communal grazing lands, hence reducing forage on conservation areas. A comprehensive action plan addressing information needs for cattle farmers located in the conservation and transfrontier areas by relevant stakeholders is crucial to minimise substantial economic losses caused by cattle diseases.