Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 51 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Impact of a Multi-Stakeholder Approach on Rural Livelihood and Socioeconomic Status of the Farming Community at Zanyokwe Irrigation Scheme, Amahlathi Local Municipality, Eastern Cape</b>]]> Access to finance and production inputs are some of the challenges that dominate the small-scale farming sector in South Africa. Public Private Partnerships (PPP) are among some of the alternatives that could be utilised to assist small-scale farmers. An informal partnership was initiated between the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), Rance Rural Development (RRD), and the farmers of Sidalukukhanya Agriculture Co-op (SAC) for pepper production at the Zanyokwe Irrigation Scheme. A study was conducted to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of this partnership. A questionnaire was administered to the members of SAC for data collection. Results showed that this PPP significantly improved the livelihood and socioeconomic Status of SAC members farming at the Zanyokwe Irrigations Scheme. Through this partnership, approximately 13% of jobs are created in the field for the co-op members, while 6% are permanently employed in the processing factory. Similarly, 56% of seasonal employment intake occurred during planting and harvesting s in the cropping fields at Zanyokwe Irrigation Scheme in Keiskammahoek. A further 25% of seasonal jobs were created through the processing of produce at the agro-processing factory in Stutterheim. Most farmers increased their business by 20% and production skills by 80%. Therefore, this partnership has shown the potential to improve the livelihood and socioeconomic Status of Zanyokwe farmers. <![CDATA[<b>Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Pastoral Livelihoods in Loima Sub-County, Turkana County, Kenya</b>]]> Climate change and variability have adversely affected communities 'pastoral livelihoods in Kenya. The study aimed to investigate sustaining pastoral livelihoods in a changing climate in Loima Sub-County, Turkana County, Kenya. A total of 59 pastoralists were interviewed using a questionnaire. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software Version 22. SPSS employed descriptive statistical techniques like frequencies, percentages, cross-tabulations and proportions, means, and standard deviation. Pie charts, graphs, figures, and tables were used to present the data analysis output. Climate has been observed to vary continuously by pastoralists. Climate hazards mostly reported were livestock diseases and the frequency of droughts. The findings also indicated that livestock keepers preferred to graze their livestock on mountains/hills. Pasture and water availability and security determine the pattern of livestock movement. Pastoralists adopted various strategies to cope with climatic changes. Some of these strategies included diverse utilisation of livestock products, controlled grazing, herd diversification, and labour distribution among household members. In conclusion, climatic change and variability effects on the livelihoods of the pastoralists are evident. However, they have diversified ways of adapting and coping with these catastrophes to sustain themselves. To avert the effects of climate change, Turkana agriculture extension officers should focus on value addition to livestock products, provision of livestock insurance schemes, veterinary services, and livestock disease surveillance. Furthermore, agriculture extension needs to develop and enforce livestock policies and develop appropriate contingency plans. Among the policies recommended are- the management of grazing areas, regulations on migratory routes, and rules governing the use of water sources. <![CDATA[<b>Is There a Case for Supporting Animal Traction Research, Policy, and Practice in Rural South Africa? - A Review</b>]]> Appropriate and efficient technology contributes a great deal to smallholder farmer development. This study uses a systematic literature review to debate whether animal traction research and practice should receive support. Firstly, the smallholder farming system is reviewed to contextualise the discussion and present a state-of-the-art review of animal traction in South Africa. After finding the diminishing use of animal traction among smallholder farming systems, the inquiry probes the causes of the rural development policies, basic education curriculum, and higher learning institutions. The results reveal that the technological needs of smallholder farmers can be met with animal traction. However, a lack of support from policies and learning institutions has contributed to the negative attitude toward animal traction. We further note that new animal traction technology is unlikely to be known to smallholders because of poor information dissemination caused by a weak agricultural extension. After realising the benefits of animal traction, it seems worthwhile to revamp animal traction research and practice for subsistence farmers. <![CDATA[<b>Baseline Study of Soil Nutrient Status in Smallholder Farms in Limpopo Province of South Africa</b>]]> An assessment of soil nutrient status based on farmers' samples was carried out in the Capricorn, Sekhukhune, and Waterberg Districts of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A total of 336 soil samples were collected and analysed for pH, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). The results showed that the pH of more than 80% of the submitted soil samples was suitable for the production of most field crops ,while less than 20% required liming to make them productive. Phosphorus levels were very low (<8 mg kg-1), with most soils (&gt;95%) needing P fertilisation to improve crop yields. Potassium was adequate (&gt;250 mg kg-1) for most districts' crops. Between 70% and 74% of soils from Sekhukhune and Waterberg Districts were deficient in Ca (<200 mg kg-1). Magnesium was adequate (&gt;300 mg kg-1) in more than 60% of the analysed samples. Apart from soil pH, all soil properties showed a high degree of variability across all districts. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of field management, crop rotation, field position in the landscape, lithology, and socioeconomic conditions of the farmer on the observed trends of soil nutrients. <![CDATA[<b>Institutional Arrangements and Support Systems for Independent Smallholder Irrigators in the Msinga Local Municipality, South Africa</b>]]> This article describes the present institutional arrangements for irrigators' resource access, agricultural support systems accessible to irrigators, and the various constraints irrigators experience. The survey acquired data from 101 snowballed respondents for the quantitative phase of the study. The qualitative phase gathered information from four purposively selected focus group discussions. According to the findings, irrigators commonly gained access to production land through traditional authority (81.2%). Gender was a barrier to land access, where male-headed families had larger land sizes than female-headed ones (t=4.993, p=0.028). Concerning irrigation water, irrigators abstract it wherever they find access, without any institutional arrangement or restriction. The main limitations to irrigators' water availability were competition and the drying out of the water source, particularly spring water. Government assistance was rare among independent irrigators. Smallholder support services tend to be distributed unevenly among South African smallholders, usually leaving independent irrigators unsupported. Lastly, irrigators experience constraints in their farming that government existing services have the potential to address. Therefore, this study proposes that the government recognize independent irrigators as possible drivers ofpoverty and food insecurities. The study recommends institutional inclusion and the extension of support systems to independent irrigators. <![CDATA[<b>Using Logistic Regression to Characterise Communal Cattle Farmers in Botswana</b>]]> This paper aims to characterise and profile subsistence cattle farmers according to selected attributes to establish their influence on the type of cattle breed kept by farmers in Botswana. The development of communal cattle production can be a sustainable way to improve the livelihoods of the rural population in Botswana. However, there needs to be more information or research conducted to characterise and profile communal cattle farmers with a precondition that the farmers can keep any of the three breeds (Tswana, Cross, or Exotic). A logistic regression model was fitted to determine the influence of 11 predictor variables on the type of cattle breed kept by the farmers. Results revealed that female-headed households were 50% more likely to have the Tswana breed of cattle than male-headed households. In contrast, female-headed households were 30% less likely to have cross-breed or exotic-breed cattle than male-headed households. Results further show that resource-poor farmers tend to keep Tswana breed cattle. These are holdings with no farm labour, no other economic activities, female-headed households, and their primary source of income specified as "other ". <![CDATA[<b>Knowledge Validation and Nutritional Qualities of Fodder Trees Browsed by Goats in the Gumela Rural Area in Limpopo Province, South Africa</b>]]> In sub-Saharan Africa, goatfarming has shown to be a significant intervention in the fight against poverty. However, the productivity of goats is threatened by several challenges, such as limited forage availability, especially during dry seasons when the quantity and quality decline. The study aimed to gather smallholder farmers' knowledge on the identity and nutritional qualities of fodder trees browsed by goats in the study area. Fourteen smallholder goat farmers were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Botanical identification and nutritional analysis of mentioned browse plants were conducted at the Animal Production Laboratory, University of Limpopo, South Africa. Capparis tomentose, Euclea crispa and Cassine transvaalensis had higher (p<0.05) dry matter content. Ziziphus mucronata had higher (p<0.05) ash content. Maerua angolensis had higher (p<0.05) crude protein content, while Colophospermum mopane had a higher (p<0.05) energy content. Colophospermum mopane was ranked the most browsed plant (43%), whereas Ziziphus mucronata and Maerua angolensis were ranked the least browsed plants. Colophospermum mopane and Sclerocarya birrea were classified as bad sources of goat feed. Most of the identified feed materials had crude protein and energy levels higher than the recommended minimum required levels for the maintenance of essential functions of goats. Findings from this study indicate thatfarmers had some knowledge of the feed materials available for goat feeding, even though most farmers in the study area did not know how to determine the nutritional qualities of the available feed materials. The knowledge gathered from this study contributes to the body of literature on the use of indigenous feed resources to improve goat production, which has the potential to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment in line with the National Development Plan 2030 of the South African government. <![CDATA[<b>Livelihood Analysis of Gasela Community in Amahlathi Local Municipality of the Eastern Cape Province</b>]]> The study was conducted to distinguish the livelihood activities that need sustainable development intervention in the Gasela rural community. A sample survey procedure was done on a population of 77 community household heads. A sample size of 65 was randomly selected. It was found that cabbage, spinach, and potatoes were the most crops produced by the community. Wattle forest was used for cooking, housing, and kraal fencing. The households were affected mostly by pests, diseases, environmental stresses, and weather-related shocks. These sources of vulnerability are cited to limit sustainable crop production. Therefore, the recommendations were interventions for the sustainable production of cabbage, spinach, and potatoes. A further suggestion was to investigate the alternative resource for wattle that will provide the same livelihood outcomes for the Gasela rural households when biological control of this invader species is implemented. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring the Role of Indigenous Vegetables in Rural Livelihoods: Perceptions from the Ntuze Community</b>]]> An increasing number of countries face growing food insecurity levels, severely impacting rural livelihoods. South Africa is no exception, mainly because it meets the worst forms of socio-economic issues: the triple challenge of poverty, the inequality gap, and non-inclusive economic growth. Influenced by a growing number of people in underprivileged communities who face foodpoverty, the researchers bring to the fore the value of wild indigenous vegetation, which is often neglected and perceived as food for the poor. To articulate this, data was collected from participants who utilise indigenous vegetables. Among the themes that were inductively identified were (i) householdfood security, (ii) the perceived medicinal benefits to improve their health conditions, and (iii) the source of income. The study proposes that promoting the production and utilisation of indigenous vegetables be considered an approach to raising awareness to dismantle the stigma around these foods and to further respond to the food insecurity crisis in underprivileged communities. There is an underappreciation of local varieties such as imifino yasendle (wild leafy vegetables) and stigmatisation of utilisation of these foods. This study re-imagines a renewed perception of indigenous vegetation in the quest to contribute to livelihood development and improve food security in underprivileged communities. <![CDATA[<b>Reproductive Performance of Extensively Managed Beef Heifers Mated at 14 Or 26 Months in the Central Bushveld Bioregion</b>]]> In South Africa, little local information is available on the value of early mating of extensively kept beef heifers. In contrast, international information is mainly restricted to dairy cattle and intensive production systems. The research was undertaken to evaluate the calving percentage of Bonsmara heifers mated for the first time in an extensively managed beef herd at either 14 or 26 months. Fifty percent of the heifers were mated at 14 months, while the other 50% were mated at 26 months of age for 90 days during the summer mating season (January to March). The research was conducted over six years (2009 to 2014). A 2³ factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed using the six years as block replications. This was done because different animals were evaluated every year. The calving percentage of heifers mated at 26 months was significantly higher than heifers mated at 14 months. From the current study, it seems unlikely that mating heifers at 14 months of age can improve on the traditional extensive system of mating heifers at 26 months on natural veld in the Central Bushveld Bioregion. <![CDATA[<b>Welfare Implications of Home Gardens Among Rural Households: Evidence from Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, South Africa</b>]]> Food insecurity is widely recognised as a global issue that requires immediate attention using multifaceted approaches. There is a generalised consensus about the positive role of home gardens in improving household income and food security. However, there is limited empirical evidence to support the above nexus worth exploring to enhance evidence of based programming. Therefore, this study used cross-sectional survey data from Ingquza Hill local municipality in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa (n = 200) to estimate the correlation between participation in home gardening, household food security, and household income. Results revealed that income from home garden sales was the least source of income for most households in the study area, contributing an average of 10.4% to total household income. An insignificant negative correlation was confirmed between home gardens and household food insecurity access score, suggesting that home gardens fall short of addressing household food security. A positive linear significant correlation was also confirmed between home garden participation and household income. The study concludes that home gardens designed for cash crop production may have a better food security premise than those intended for home food consumption and the sale of surplus.