Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 48 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Promotion of sustainable agriculture by Mpumalanga agricultural extension services: perspective of public extension pratictioners</b>]]> The ever-growing population of the world compels most farmers to resort to farming practices that are unsustainable. This is particularly true in Mpumalanga Province, where there is a lack of support towards promoting sustainable agriculture. This study evaluates the role of public agricultural extension in promoting sustainable agriculture in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. The role of public agricultural extension is evaluated against the framework of the five pillars of sustainable agriculture. The study evaluates the context of dominant agricultural extension approaches used in Mpumalanga Province. Data were collected through questionnaires with 68 respondents, comprising of various extension practitioners in all 17 districts in Mpumalanga Province. The study provides an analytical emphasis that assessment of farmers' livelihood will assist extension practitioners to programme their interventions based on farmers' needs. The study further evaluates extension practitioners' knowledge towards the concept of sustainable agriculture. The support provided to extension practitioners in promoting sustainable agriculture was also appraised. The results of the study present empirical consolidated responses on extension practitioners' knowledge of the five pillars of sustainable agriculture. Finally, extension practitioners provided their suggestions on what measures could be taken to promote sustainable agriculture in Mpumalanga Province. Drawing from the results of this study, it is evident that there is a need for frameworks and support for extension practitioners towards promoting sustainable agricultural practices. <![CDATA[<b>Incorporating extension measures into farm productivity models with practical guidelines for extension staff</b>]]> This study formulates a conceptual model of the knowledge transfer process to evaluate the treatment of extension in a sample of 30 totalfactor productivity models. Three studies did not include a training or extension proxy, 15 studies used singular proxies, and 13 studies employed multiple proxies for visits in the broad sense. Aspects of adoption were considered in 12 studies. Contact with the extension service is best captured with simple dummy variables for visits, training or extension club membership, although there are several good examples of studies that successfully incorporated the quality of the service provided. Quality seems to be more effectively captured with a series of adoption indices, some of which can be quite simple, such as the presence of a disease outbreak, but detailed enterprise-specific technical information is needed to do this well. The advice for an extension service that wishes to embark on this type of monitoring is that it should begin by programming the technical information to be transferred and to use the development of activity charts to build technical skills amongst extension agents. Each activity should include an observable measure of adoption. Delivery should be planned around activity charts and ought to include at least 30% of visits aimed specifically at observing adoption and should devote at least one in 10 meetings to leading a farmer through a process of self-reflection, which includes reflection on the farm's financial performance. <![CDATA[<b>Impact of agricultural developmental programmes on smallholder farmers of Bronkhorstspruit region in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng Province</b>]]> The aim of the study was to assess and document the impact of agricultural developmental support programmes on smallholder farmers focusing on the city of Tshwane, Bronkhorstspruit area. A sample size of 30 farming units was chosen using a purposive sampling technique. Primary data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires during focus group meetings and on-farm visits. Quantitative data were sorted, coded, edited and analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods. The findings indicated that 63% of smallholder male farmers benefitted on developmental programmes and the majority of farmers who benefitted were above the age of 41. The study revealed that jobs created in the study area increased by 30% due to programme interventions. However, access to proper farm infrastructure, formal markets, and finances have remained challenges even after the intervention. In conclusion, it was generally found that agricultural development programmes improved the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the community in general in the study area. The study recommends that support should focus on commodity and production capacity that can sustain farming enterprises and generate income. <![CDATA[<b>Climate-smart innovation tool: an approach to review the climate responsiveness and innovation practices of the agricultural curricula</b>]]> The dissemination and uptake of climate-smart practices and concepts within the South African education, training and extension services within the agricultural system is still an ongoing and challenging process. The aim of this study was to develop a curriculum review tool to assist agricultural trainers to evaluate and innovate their teaching and learning practices towards climate-smart responsiveness. The review tool is an innovative tool to prioritise climate-smart practices and to support the development of climate responsive extension education. A curriculum review study at Taung Agricultural College revealed variations in the extent of alignment between the curriculum and climate-smart agriculture practices and concepts amongst the departments. The tool assisted staff to identify the climate responsive topics and concepts that were relevant to the subject under review, as well as the climate-smart responsive status of the subject. The study showed that the tool was beneficial for curriculum alignment review and thus for charting out the start of reflexive learning and change processes that are needed to support the incorporation of climate responsive practices into the agricultural systems. The tool also supports agricultural trainers as a climate-smart learning platform for agricultural trainers that introduces new practically applicable concepts and information that fosters the change necessary for community-orientated innovative action. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of social exclusion on climate change adaptation of female arable crop farmers in Abia State, Nigeria</b>]]> The need to reduce social exclusion suffered by female arable crop farmers in Abia State as a way of enhancing their climate change adaptive capacity prompted this study. The study identified the effect of social exclusion on climate change adaptation of female arable crop farmers in Abia State, Nigeria. A multiple stage sampling procedure was employed to select 120 respondents for the study. Data were collected with the aid of questionnaires complemented with an interview schedule. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. The major effects of social exclusion on the climate change adaptation of female arable crop farmers includes poor access to credit facilities to enhance adaptation activities (x = 2.8), lack of ownership to landfor increasedfarm size (x = 2.8), and inadequate access to important agricultural equipment and inputs for better adaptation (x = 2.7). The ordinary least square regression analysis showed that a significant relationship exists between the socio-economic characteristics of the female arable crop farmers and the level of social exclusion they suffer. It was recommended that formal education of women, skill acquisition and empowerment programmes for women, and enlightenment by extension and advisory services on the implications of social exclusion could aid in the reduction of social exclusion amongst female arable crop farmers. <![CDATA[<b>Performance and sustainability of commercial cooperatives and sole proprietorships citrus farms in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa</b>]]> Citrus farming is one of the specialised crops which need special attention in order to have a better product at the end of the value chain. Citrus crops that are well looked after produce good income while poor crops become costly to the farmer. Any suspicions of pests' damage may render the consignment for export to be turned down at the expense of a farmer. The objectives of this paper were to assess performance and sustainability between cooperatives and sole proprietorship citrus farms. The research also looked at the reasons as to why some farmers are more successful than others who farm in the same region with similar circumstances and challenges. This study compared the performance of commercial cooperatives and sole proprietorships of citrus farmers in Mpumalanga Province. A total of 40 farmers were interviewed in order to establish their scale of performance and contribution to sustainability. The findings revealed that the knowledge was a critical factor as they were found knowledgeable in citrus, such as management, business planning, packaging and marketing. It is recommended that the emerging citrus farmers should be exposed to acquisition of appropriate knowledge and skills if they have to perform better. <![CDATA[<b>Factors influencing farmers' use of different extension services in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal Provinces of South Africa</b>]]> Over the years, dating back to the early 1980's, South Africa has seen the emergence of various institutions providing extension services to farmers independent of government. This has seen the exodus offarmers from a traditionally supplied extension to more varied sources providing extension services. The aim of the study was to provide empirical evidence on the use/s of different extension services by farmers in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces of South Africa. Research activities included a formal survey conducted on a sample of 265 smallholder farmers using a simple random sampling method. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire through interviews and using a semi-structured interview guide for focus group discussions. Chi-square and T-test statistics were employed to establish bivariate relationships between socio-economic characteristics of farmers and use of different sources of extension services. Multinomial logit regression was used to predict factors that influence the use of different extension services. Results from descriptive statistics show that 54% of farmers (aged 36-50years) and 52% of farmers (51-65years) preferred using multiple sources of extension services. From multinomial regression, farmers who favoured the used of multiple sources of extension were those who were: not satisfied with the frequency of extension visits, poor technical advice and feedback turnaround from the public sector. The study concluded that multiple sources of extension services should be the main source/s of extension provision since they recognise the diversity inherent amongst producers, and farmers can best select the information mix most suited to their farming needs. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of factors influencing the adoption of improved crop management practices (ICMP) by smallholder farmers in the Boane District, Mozambique</b>]]> This paper seeks to assess the factors influencing the adoption of the improved crop management practices (ICMP) in Boane District in Mozambique. The study was carried out using a qualitative survey method with a semi-structured interview schedule. Regression analysis and Pearson correlations were used to analyse the factors, constraints, and opportunities influencing the adoption of the improved crop management practices. The study covered a sample of 50 households. The results of the study show that the majority of the farmers (68%) in the Boane District adopted the improved crop management practices, compared to those who did not adopt them (32%). According to the logistic regression analysis, two factors (age and access to credit) were significant (p<0.05) at the 5% level of significance with the adoption of ICMP, meaning that age and access to credit have an influence on the adoption of the improved crop management practices in the Boane District. The study recommended that the Agricultural Development Fund and the district development should solve the challenge of low financial investments, which is the major problem of most smallholder farmers, limiting their response to the production process, and to adopting the improved crop management practices in the Boane District. <![CDATA[<b>Reproduction performance of beef cattle before and after implementing a sustainable grazing system in a semi-arid grassland of southern Africa</b>]]> The semi-arid grasslands of South Africa are a major resource for beef farming. However, the reproduction performance of beef cattle is not optimal, and it is stressed differently by the different agriculture sectors due to various management systems. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of sustainable rangeland management on the reproduction of beef cattle and rangeland health. Data on calving rates, weaning weight (205 days), and rangeland condition over a period of five years was sampled, beginning with no rangeland management in year one, comparing the results with the next four years after implementing sustainable rangeland management, utilising the same herd of cattle. Results showed a significant increase in calving rates from the first year of rangeland management (+ 27%), with a 50% increase in year four. Weaning weight also increased significantly (P < 0.05) within the first year (+ 60 kg), with 72.8kg in year four. Rangeland conditions also started to improve in 31 of the 45 camps. The financial implication with respect to weaner calf income was also calculated with striking differences within the first year where it was ± two to three times higher and four times higher in year four comparing with the income with no rangeland management. Agricultural extension will enhance the objectives of securing sustainable agricultural development as indicated in this study for livestock production through the implementation of efficient rangeland management. <![CDATA[<b>Preparing papers for the South African Journal of Agricultural Extension</b>]]> Successful journal submissions follow a predictable format and vary in length of between 5000 and 6500 words, including references. Formulating well-defined, tight research questions that contribute to an open aspect of the extension literature is essentialfor success. A good question makes it easier to identify appropriate analytical techniques and provide a logical structure to the results section. The most frequently encountered problems with unsuccessful submissions to this journal are the absence of a clear question, flawed research design, papers that are too short and present only a superficial inadequate analysis of descriptive statistics and papers that are front-heavy with an underweight disappointing results section. These problems are easily corrected by closely adhering to academic writing conventions and good research design, which explains why experienced authors have a better chance of success than novices.