Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 48 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Students' opinions regarding self-employment opportunities in agriculture, at the national university of Lesotho</b>]]> Most developing countries including Lesotho, faces a major challenge of creating jobs for their high education graduates. This matter hard presses policy makers to advocate for training which equips graduates to venture into self-employment for job creation. This study therefore intended to establish students' opinions regarding self-employment opportunities in agriculture. The key objectives were: to describe students' knowledge of potential self-employment opportunities in agriculture; to assess students' willingness to engage in self-employment in agriculture; to identify factors constraining graduates from venturing into self-employment in agriculture. Sixty-six final year students in the faculty of agriculture were purposefully selected for the study. A structured questionnaire was used as a data collection instrument for this study and data were analysed descriptively using statistical indicators including percentages, mean and standard deviation. Findings revealed that Students perceived that agriculture has a potential of creating employment for huge number of people and they are willing to undergo agri-business after completion of their studies. It is therefore recommended that practical agribusiness training be included in undergraduate agriculture curriculum to entrench this skill. The government should support agricultural graduates by addressing all the identified constraints such as marketing, input supply, credit, training, extension services and poor storage facilities. <![CDATA[<b>Characteristics of climate-smart and commercially astute agricultural extension professionals</b>]]> Sixteen of the world's hottest years since 1860 were in the last 17 years. Greenhouse gases cause global warming and climate change (CC). Climate change puts agriculture at a crossroads. The industry must adapt in order to feed a global population projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100. Adapting to CC requires agriculturalists at all levels to devise appropriate mitigation strategies. Business cannot be as usual. Climate change adds complexity to agriculture. To remain relevant, agricultural practitioners must be climate-smart (CS) in order to continue producing adequate, affordable, nutritious and safe food and fibre. Furthermore, agriculture is a business. It involves inputs, outputs, profit, loss, and is tied to the economic factors of production, land, labour, capital, and entrepreneurship. Therefore, the astute Agricultural Extension Professional/s (AEP/s) must be conversant not only with scientific and technical aspects of agriculture, its business and art, but also with emerging CC issues. The AEP must have relevant hard and soft skills that enable him/her to assist farmers adapt. This paper discusses the essential characteristics of a CS and commercially astute AEP in changing climate. <![CDATA[<b>Gender disparities in poverty among smallholder livestock farmers in south africa</b>]]> This paper analyses gender disparities in poverty and the determinants of poverty among smallholder communal livestock farmers across five provinces in South Africa. A combination of multi-stage and stratified sampling techniques were used to select 591 farmers across the provinces. The Foster, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) poverty indices were used to determine the extent and severity of poverty among smallholder livestock farmers. The results of the FGT analysis revealed that poverty is prevalent among smallholder livestock farmers but more pronounced among female-headed households. A binary logit regression was used to determine the predictors of poverty among communal livestock owners. Factors such as level of education, gender of household head, access to markets and extension services reduce the probability of a household becoming poor. Conversely, factors such as household size and access to credit had a negative effect on household well-being. These results highlight the importance of strengthening institutions (extension, livestock farmer organisations and markets) to improve smallholder livestock systems. Further, the study recommends that agricultural extension services should integrate gender mainstreaming in interventions that target smallholder communal livestock farmers, and that rural development projects should focus on interventions that aim at diversifying farm income. <![CDATA[<b>Farmers' perceptions of climate variability, their adaptation strategies and agricultural productivity: a case of Limpopo province, South Africa</b>]]> The provision of farm management decision support and advisory services to insure climate resilient agricultural production systems, especially for subsistence farmers, depends on data on such producers. The main objective of the paper was to generate such data by comparing the status quo regarding dryland, subsistence grain farmers' perceptions of climate variability, their adaptation strategies and crop productivity. Using a survey questionnaire, the comparison was made across time (2014 and 2017) in selected municipalities of Limpopo province. The findings across time and aggregated for all the different local municipalities investigated were similar regarding respondents' perceptions of climate variability, adaptation strategies used and crop productivity. The perceptions revealed that respondents were aware of the reality of climate variability and its negative effects on their crop and livestock production, Agricultural productivity amongst extension and non-extension recipients was low, with minimal differences. These findings auger well for the development of common strategies to improve the effectiveness of the support for farm management including climate variability that is provided by the public agricultural extension service to the group of producers in this study to reduce the negative effects of climate variability on their crop productivity. This will eventually help to improve their food security. <![CDATA[<b>Economic analysis of smallholder maize farmers: implications for public extension services in Eastern Cape</b>]]> This study sought to determine the economics of maize farmers in Amatole District, Eastern Cape. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select hundred and nine (109) smallholder farmers (homestead and irrigators). Descriptive statistics and gross margin analysis were used to determine the economics and profitability of maize in the study area. Findings indicated that majority (66 per cent) of them were men with an average age of 61 years old, majority (69 per cent) were married, with mean household size of 4 persons and household heads having some primary education. Moreover, majority (76 per cent) of the farmers depended on irrigation technology; majority (33 per cent) of the famers spent between 9 and 11 years of experience in farming; majority (89 per cent) of the respondents in the study area were dependent on farming as their major occupation and livelihood. Pertaining to land acquisition, majority (48%) of the farmers believed that the traditional or community leaders set rules and regulations regarding land acquisition. From the profitability analysis, smallholder farmer irrigators generated significantly higher yield, total revenues and gross margins more than the homestead gardeners at 5, 10 and 5 per cent levels, respectively. Moreover, homestead gardeners spent more money in purchase of inputs and this may have contributed to their low gross margins. On the other hand, smallholder-farmer irrigators who incur less input costs have higher chances of benefiting from price discounts and transport offer by input suppliers than the homestead gardeners. This results in smallholder farmer irrigators wielding more profits, thereby creating more income and wealth which is pivotal in the improvement of farmers' livelihoods. <![CDATA[<b>Characteristics of maize growing farmers, varietal use and constraints to increase productivity in selected villages in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa</b>]]> The need to increase self-sufficiency of rural agricultural systems has been a centre of focus for many extension programs aimed at rural development and improved livelihoods. Numerous biotic, abiotic and socio-economic factors affect maize production for resource poor farmers in the Eastern Cape (EC), which is one of the poorest Provinces in South Africa. Focus group discussions and semi-structured questionnaires were used to identify farmer characteristics, and specific production constraints influencing maize productivity in Jixini and Mkhwezo villages, of O. R. Tambo District in the EC Province. Elderly farmers who are above 56 years dominated the studied farming communities. The predominant varieties used were local landraces (53%) followed by hybrids (31%) and improved open pollinated varieties (OPVs) (11%). Farmers preferred local landraces as they were considered more palatable. Unmarried farmers were the least productive farmer group due to shortages of labour, use of landrace varieties and inadequate fertilizer. The main production constraints faced by farmers, were too much rain, pests and diseases infestation, drought stress due to climate change, and lack of fencing of the out-fields. Increasing the involvement of youths in agricultural activities could improve maize productivity. Maize breeding programs should solicit information on farmer-preferred traits and incorporate them into the improved varieties to enhance their desirability and adoption. Targeting of varieties should be guided by the most common constraints affecting maize productivity in a specific location rather than issuing blanket recommendations. Additionally, agricultural extension programs could improve their service delivery by having good knowledge of target-farmer traits, their farming practices and prevailing constraints. Information in this manuscript can go a long way in improving extension service delivery in the EC Province of the country. <![CDATA[<b>Influence of farmers' knowledge of climate change on production of citrus and tomato in Nigeria</b>]]> Production is the basis of value-chain which is a key factor in Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in Nigeria. Thus, for successful production of horticultural crops the importance of climate cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, in this era of climate change there is the need to study farmers' knowledge of climate change and their production level. The study was carried out in Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was used to arrive at a study population of 441 tomato and citrus farmers. Data were collected using Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), structured interview schedule and secondary data (FAOSTAT). It was analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentage and pie charts) and inferential statistics (Pearson Product Moment Correlation). There existed no significant relationship between knowledge level of respondents and change in production of both crops. The reason for this could be that no matter what the level of knowledge one may have on the subject of climate change it does not have anything to do with production, adaptation strategies is the key. Citrus and tomato farmers' adaptation strategies to climate change includes among others crop management, use of varieties resistant to pests and diseases, altering the timing or location of cropping activities, different planting dates and shortened length of growing period. In conclusion climate change has affected the production of horticultural crops therefore for ATA to have a good footing there is the need to focus on the adaptation strategies that can combat the effect of climatic changes. <![CDATA[<b>Factors affecting subsistence farming in rural areas of nyandeni local municipality in the Eastern Cape Province</b>]]> Agriculture is the foremost locomotive of the economic growth for Sub-Saharan African countries, especially South Africa. Subsistence agriculture is one of the imperative segments in the South African economy and it remains a substantial sector for livelihood generation. Agricultural activities have an ability to provide nutrition, economic, social status and reduce rural poverty. However, subsistence farming has experience significant declined over the past 10 years due to climate change, scarcity of resources, lack of farming equipment and lack of extension services. Therefore, this paper seeks to examine factors affecting subsistence farming in rural homesteads of Nyandeni Local Municipality. Purposively, the data was collected from 120 households. To examine the factors affecting subsistence production, multiple regression was run. Study results reveal that the majority of the farming households are male-headed with an average age of 60 years with a household size of 6 people in the households. The study reveals that age, gender, and employment have an adverse influence subsistence farming production while education, extension services, household size, farming experience, and income have a positive relationship with subsistence farming. Thus, the study recommends government empowerment and training services that will increase the number of women and youth participating in farming. Further to that, government must promote sustainable food production by ensuring collaboration of all stakeholders in government, private sector and NGOs or CBOs. <![CDATA[<b>Erudite pedagogic praxis of extension paradigm for technological skills transfer of the emerging farmers</b>]]> Technological skills transfer approach from extension practitioners to the emerging farmers plays a significant role in the educational developments of the emerging farmers. These approaches have to take into account the methods of teaching that are in line with what is acceptable and underpinned by the adult teaching and learning approaches. Agricultural extension as an educational development programme for the emerging farmers needs to borrow from these approaches. Emerging farmers and extension practitioners in South Africa are mostly a group of diverse adults from different backgrounds and varying political, economic and social statuses. The formal education status of the emerging farmers might play a role in the ability to consume and apply presented information on the farm. However, the manner or approach that the information is presented could determine whether the emerging farmer become resistant to the information or not. The study employed the Participatory Action Research methodology with the philosophical framing of Bricolage to generate data that was analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis. The emerging farmers and extension practitioners volunterily engaged in the emancipatory discourse to outline the learning challenges using agricultural extension methods. Presenting agricultural information to the emerging farmers in the form of the Basic Education pedagogy, undermine the adult education prerequisites for the emerging farmers during training and farm visits. The emerging farmers, as adults exposed to agricultural extension, has to be conducted so guided by the trialled and tested adult education principles. By law, every individual over 15 years of age are entitled to adult education. The extension practitioners need to be acquainted with the adult education perspective. <![CDATA[<b>Reviewing land access livelihood diversification strategies and factors influencing wellbeing of rural households in Mnquma, Eastern Cape: implications to extension agents</b>]]> The aim of this paper is to analyse the impact of land access and livelihood strategies of rural households to well-being of households ' implications to extension agents in Mnquma, Eastern Cape. A cross-sectional research design was utilised to collect data from 105 randomly selected households. Descriptive statistics was then used to profile livelihood strategies and characteristics such as age, gender, years of farm experience, the availability of water and land for crop production and the income farmers generate from the sale of crops produced. Multinomial logistic regression results demonstrated that land size and location have a positive significant influence (p = 0.001) on household well-being. It is concluded that though land size has a positive influence on well-being, expanding farms through adding plots and distant farming hinders the attainment of well-being. Moreover, households with large number of dependents and those working in exclusive farming are disadvantaged in the attainment of well-being. There is therefore room to enhance progress in attainment of well-being through reducing the distance to farms and promoting diversification of livelihood strategies. The Eastern Cape department of Agriculture and Rural Development is advised to support distant farmers with settlements in their destinations. Furthermore, extension agents do play a significant role in promoting livelihoods of rural households and contribute towards improved land access. <![CDATA[<b>What is the contribution of agricultural finance to farmer livelihoods?</b>]]> We assessed the contribution of agricultural development financing in rural development and farmer livelihoods in KwaZulu-Natal, using the Agribusiness Development Agency as a case study. Data was collected using structured questionnaires and in-depth key informant interviews from a purposefully selected sample of ADA beneficiaries, ADA officials and government stakeholders. The findings showed that farmers who had received financial and technical support experienced positive changes in their business operations. However, the AD A's model for providing support and implementing activities does not allow for maximum participation from the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries have limited decision-making powers and minimal influence on overall project activities. The results of the study highlight the importance of targeted agricultural financing approaches, accompanied with capacity building of farmers. <![CDATA[<b>Socio-economic characteristics influencing small-scale farmers' level of knowledge on climate-smart agriculture in mahikeng local municipality, North West province, South Africa</b>]]> The aim of the study was to identify knowledge gaps and the level of knowledge on climate-smart agriculture among small-scale farmers in Mahikeng Local Municipality. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 170 respondents from a population size of1449. A descriptive and quantitative research design was used for this study. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse data. Most respondents were males, married, had high school education and farming experience of more than 20 years. Livestock farming, was found to be the main agricultural activity amongst the respondents. Knowledge test statements revealed that, respondents had a low level of knowledge about climate-smart agriculture. Age, access to climate information, farm income per month and access to off-farm income had statistically significant relationships with respondents' level of knowledge on climate-smart agriculture. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that, there should be training and education activities which should be implemented to assist small-scale farmers in Mahikeng Local Municipality in increasing their knowledge on climate-smart agriculture. <![CDATA[<b>Key factors for the improvement of smallholder farmers' participation in agro-processing industries of Gauteng province of Republic of South Africa: lessons for the extension advisory services</b>]]> This study aims at identifying factors that could be used as parameters to improve the smallholder farmers' participation in the agro-processing industries of Gauteng province in order to enhance job creation and self-employment. The study used both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The focus sessions were used to exploit the respondents' views regarding their participation or lack thereof. On the other hand, the quantitative approaches were used to quantify the effect of the factors under consideration. A sample of (n = 78) smallholder farmers were purposively selected across ten (n=10) local municipalities. The data were analysed using a logistic regression model where non-participation and participation were coded 0 and 1, respectively. The effect of profit, access to advice, age of the farmers, and information flow to the participation of the smallholder farmers was tested. The study found that five identified parameters {information supply (beta = 0.315, p = 0.002), bonds (beta = 0.332, p = 0.000), mutual trust (beta = 0.410, p = 0.000), age (beta = 0.242, p = 0.004) and access to study group (beta = -0.416, p = 0.000)} have significant probabilities to improve the participation of smallholder farmers in the agro-processing sub-sector. The results imply that extension advisors and policymakers can use these parameters to improve the participation and representativeness of the smallholder farmers in the agro-processing industries. <![CDATA[<b>Women's knowledge of the nutritional benefits and perceived constraints in soybean utilization</b>]]> The study investigated women's knowledge of the nutritional benefits of soybean and its implication for the nutritional status of households in Oyo state. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 129 women for the study. Data were collected via interview schedule on the socio-economic characteristics of women, their knowledge of nutritional benefit of soybean, awareness of soybean by-products and perceived constraints in the utilisation of soybean. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential (Chi-square) statistic. Results show that women have little knowledge of the nutritional benefits of soybean and majority do not know the by-products of soybean. Major constraints in the utilisation of soybean as identified by the women were high perishability of it products (92.2%), lack of knowledge of its processing (84.5%) and lack of market for its product (69%) among others. Significant relationship exists between education (x²=31.494, p=0.000), crops processed (x²=63.990, p=0.000) and knowledge of nutritional benefit of soybean. It is therefore recommended that awareness be increased on the nutritional benefit of soybean using different medium of information dissemination as this will help increase women's knowledge of the nutritional benefit of soybean and its products, prevent malnutrition, reduce infant mortality and increase the nutritional status of rural household.