This chapter provides the methodology of the study. The methodology gives an outline of how the research was done and gives the procedures which were taken in conducting the research. The research design, population, sampling design, data collection methods and data analysis are described in this chapter.
3.2 Research Design
The method used to carry out the study is what is referred by the term research design. In this case, the study made use of a research design referred to as the descriptive research design. The rationale behind use of this research design is because it is describing state of affairs since they are in present terms. According to (Bernard, 2012) descriptive research is research used to “describe” a situation, subject, behavior, or phenomenon. A descriptive research is also a process of collecting data in order to test hypotheses or answer questions concerning the current status of the subjects in the study (Mugenda, 2008). They also bring out the fact that a descriptive research’s purpose is to determine and report how things are done or being done. Descriptive research was therefore used in the Gweru district on some large scale farms to report on how operations are taking place thereby also identifying what exists in as far asfactors affecting dairy production are concerned. The method involved the use of many activities including questionnaires.
3.3 Sample size and Design
A sample size is the part of the population chosen by the researcher for a survey or experiment. There was therefore need to determine the sample size that had to act as a representative of the whole population of dairy farmers in and around Gweru since the study was focusing on the Gweru district. There was found to be a total population of
3.4 Collection Instruments and Data Collection Procedure
The study made use of primary data which was obtained from farmers through questionnaires. These questionnaires were administered through the drop and pick method around the selected farmers within the Gweru district. Collection of the questionnaire was done as soon as the questionnaires had been filled in. For conservation of time and money the questionnaires made use of structured questions, structured questions were also used for facilitation of easier analysis as they were in a form in which they had to be used immediately. The research questions determined the questions to be asked in the questionnaires. The questionnaire was divided into sections in a bid to cater for and cover areas of the different research questions.
The questionnaire contained open-ended and closed –ended questions that were constructed to address the two research objectives. The questionnaire consisted of three sections, with the first section looking into and seeking background information. The second section looks to investigate on factors affecting dairy production in Zimbabwe. The study also comprised of questions that required the respondents to simply give either of the 2 answers (YES or NO) , with the questions pertaining to their case.
3.5 Data Analysis Methods
The coded data made use of statistical measures which included standard deviations, percentages and also mean scores. Descriptive statistics where used in analysis of the quantitative data where content of the respondent had been placed in prose form. Frequency tables, charts and graphs where used to diagrammatically present the data. The researcher used the data with the aim to present research findings to establish and come up with the factors affecting production of dairy products in Zimbabwe. The study also conducted a factor analysis. The factor analysis equation is as follows :
PDP = ?i + ?1PR+ ?2DPS +ei
• PDP = Production of Dairy products
• PR = Production Resources
• DPS = Dairy Production Systems
?1 and ?2, are coefficients and ei is the error term, ?i is a constant in this equation that shows the production of dairy products in the absence of other factors.
3.6 Diagnosis tests
The study took note of a number of tests which where all aimed at achieving accuracy for the study. Diagnosis tests are also aimed at exposing the various forms of biasness which may affect the study. On that note, diagnostic accuracy is therefore determined by the fact that the test correctly indicates issues and addresses issues at hand. In this study, the tests that where conducted where :
• Unit root test
• Test for heteroscdasticity
3.6.1 Unit root test
Unit root tests would be carried out to identify whether the variables of the study are stationery or not and whether they possess a unit root. The definition of a null hypothesis is usually the presence of a unit root.
3.6.2 Test for heterogeneity
This test is a test that is done in regression analysis. The test makes an assumption that error terms are normally distributed. The test for heteroskedasticity , it tests the possibility of variance errors of regression are dependent on the independent variables’ values. Heteroskedasticity can also be referred to as the unequal variability of a variable across the range of values of another variable that may be predicting it. (Taylor, 2012)
3.6.3 Test for multi-collinearity
Multicollinearity is usually caused by inequality in the use of dummy variables. Repetition of the same kind of variable can also lead to multicollinearity. Multicollinearity is tested so as to reduce or avoid mistakes in estimating partial regression coefficient precisely. Multicollinearity may also leads to change in results of partial regression. A test of multicollinearity would be carried out using the correlation matrix.
3.7 JUSTIFICATION OF VARIABLES
The study made use of a variant of variables which had an implication in relation to the objectives of the study. The different variables that were made in use where meant to address the issues pertaining the factors affecting dairy production in Zimbabwe.
3.7.1 Land Size
Land size as a variable was put into use because dairy production is highly dependent on the size of land on which the dairy cows will be kept on. Dairy farming has land requirements which have to be taken not of. Land is required for the construction of sheds and other structures. Since animals need fodder for feed supplement, land has to be readily available in order for the farmer to be able to grow fodder for nutrient supply as this will be of paramount importance because it yields marginal increase in production. The land to be used for fodder depends on the carrying capacity of the land. On an average 4 to 5 dairy cows along with their groups can be sustained on an acre of well abundant agricultural land with secure irrigation services. This land aspect can have a huge impact on final production.
3.7.2 Use of training for employees
Training for employees in dairy has a huge impact because of the intensity and pressure associated with dairy farming. There is need for specialty and trained personnel in handling of dairy production resources particularly the animals which are well know to be fragile. An example is in heat detection for farms that make use of artificial insemination. Failure to accurately detect heat may result in loss trough wastage semen which is know to be expensive. This and other tasks associated in dairy operations like milking and artificial insemination require trained employees as this may affect production especially in the case of milkers who can easily waste the final product which is milk.
3.7.3 Access to extension services
Extension works as a bridge between farmers and research institutions. Failure to get access to extension services for a dairy producer may have multiple risk associated with it. Farmers need to be well updated especially those in remote areas who may be skipped by news of new technologies and diseases which may affect production.
3.7.4 Reliance on Local breeds
Importation of semen and purchase of semen is expensive and so the majority of small scale farmers have limitations and financial difficulties especially when it comes to use of foreign breeds. This has however resulted in dependency on local breeds and mix breeds. The local breeds are resistant to diseases and local weather conditions but do not have the capacity to produce for large scale purposes. This affects production therefore it is worth looking at.
3.7.5 Use of artificial insemination
Artificial insemination is when semen (sexed or not) with living sperms is collected from a male parent (bull) and introduced into the female reproductive tract at the right time with the help of instruments and a straw in order to produce an offspring. Artificial insemination results in production of required offspring of required quality. It is easy for a farmer with artificial insemination facilities to predict and control amounts of milk to be produced. This has a huge impact on production and is also worth looking at.
3.7.6 Reliance on veld for nutrient supply
Dairy animals require specific feed at a specific time in order to produce specific amounts of milk. Highly nutritious feed is however expensive to buy especially for the small scale farmers. This leads to reliance on local veld for nutrient supply which makes it difficult for the farmer to control productivity. This is a factor to carefully look into because it affects production of milk.
3.7.7 Reliance on government funding.
Dairy production is very intensive and so this calls for the need for a strong financial backing for a farmer to successfully yield good productivity. However the majority of small scale farmers have difficulty with finances and therefore depend on the government for supplement of finances. Production is therefore affected when the farmers fail to meet the requirement of dairy production especially when a government chooses to prioritize smaller and less expensive enterprises. This aspect is worth focusing on as it reduces production.
3.7.8 Access to credit facilities
The aspect of finance security is an important one in dairy production because it is the one that defines the ability of a farmer to expand and expansion is key to dairy success. Access to banking services (loans) should be of importance to look at. This is however a challenge because if the economy is having challenges , it implies that banks may have difficulty in making financial services like loans accessible to the farmers. The issue of access to credit facilities is of importance to look at in dairy production because it determines productivity at farmer individual level.