Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 38 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Factors affecting extension workers in their rendering of effective service to pre and post-settled farmers in government initiated and supported farming small, micro and medium enterprises</b>]]> Small, micro and medium entrepreneurs play an important role in economic growth and poverty alleviation across the globe. To this effect, the South African government has instituted a policy to encourage the formation, promotion and support of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME's). In particular, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry (DAF) and Rural Development and Land Affairs (DRDLA), through land acquisition, restitution and other agrarian development systems, initiates and supports agriculturally based SMME's with the objective of achieving sustainable livelihoods for the poor and commonages. However, an intensive investigation using desktop, government reports, research articles and case studies on the pre and post-settlement delivery of services by extension officers, revealed that support is grossly inadequate in terms of funding, training, technical advice, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation. This is also exacerbated by the extension workers' lack of capacity and specialization in particular fields, such as production, marketing and management to adequately service the land reform programs. It is therefore recommended that extension workers be capacitated on specialisation, production, management, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation in order for them to deliver quality services that will contribute to in making these SMME's sustainable. <![CDATA[<b>Job burnout and coping strategies among extension agents in South Western Nigeria</b>]]> The need to maintain a non-mineral dependent economy and daunting food import bills have been the drive for the provision of extension services, which is dependent on motivated extension work force.. Extension personnel will not stay motivated under circumstances where the risk of job burnout is high. A simple random technique was used to select 120 extension agents from 328. Data were collected with a structured questionnaire (reliability coefficient of 0.85) and were analyzed with frequency counts, percentages one-way analysis of variance and multiple regressions. The result shows that 68% of the agents are males 85% married; 50% are above 40 years and 66% have at least a BSc degree. Burnout symptoms manifest mostly as depression (48%), insomnia (40%), headaches (43%), and weight loss (44%). Popular coping strategies are keeping positive attitude at all times, setting self-realistic goals, and maintaining healthy relationship with co-workers. A significant difference exists in burnout symptoms experienced across the states (F = 5.71, df 3117 p < 0.05). Significant determinants are age (t = 3.61), Number of children (t = 4.36), and coping strategy (t = -4.71).The study recommends that extension agents should be young, dynamic, maintain manageable family size and be exposed to different techniques to cope with burnout symptoms. <![CDATA[<b>Farmer-led documentation as a possible tool for improved partnership between service providers and farmers</b>: <b>A case study in Mafikeng</b>]]> Farmer-led Documentation (FLD) is a farmer driven process that enables farmers to share experiences and issues with others. The FLD process was tested to determine its effectiveness in projects where farmers, extension and research need to collaborate closely when farmers experiment while adapting technologies. Training on FLD, camera maintenance and taking photographs was done during a workshop, and further supported during follow-up visits through the season. The final feedback workshop enabled farmers to share the content of their photographs, as well as their experiences with FLD and photography. Farmers discussed activities they had undertaken and the results of their research, experiences with traditional leafy vegetables, management systems, crop experiences, and ways of handling pests and diseases. Farmers stated that they learnt new production methods from the sharing process and were exposed to methods used by people from different areas. FLD, when actively supported by local stakeholders, could enable farmers to share their knowledge with each other and discuss relevant issues with decision makers in their regions. <![CDATA[<b>The viability of the socio-economic sustainability of underdeveloped farmers in the Driefontein erea, North West Province</b>]]> Different arguments about the viability of underdeveloped farmers are going around. Many researchers and stakeholders were involved in projects aimed at improving the underdeveloped farmers' enterprises. Very few of the private or Government initiated projects paid any dividends to those involved. It appears that farmers lack the capability to incorporate the five components (biological viability, resources availability and viability, economic viability, social / community orientated viability and risk factors) necessary to manage a sustainable agribusiness. This study looks at present agricultural enterprises, the socio-economic components needed for a sustainable enterprise and how a sustainable enterprise should be managed by underdeveloped farmers. The study area was Driefontein which is situated in the north eastern part of the North West Province (25°55' E: 25° 45' S). The average yearly rainfall over the period 2000 to 2007 was 325 mm. Of the 218 respondents 27% is involved in animal husbandry and 42% is involved in crop production. The remaining 31% is subsistence farmers and/or are involved within the farming community. The 218 farmers produce a total of 18 t of maize, 20 t sorghum and 7 t sunflower on a total of ± 660ha, which proves the situation to be unsustainable according to the five pillars criteria for sustainable agriculture. The three input parameters representing the highest expenditure levels are fuel (R3 216), seed (R1 794) and labour (R1 335). Given the income they obtained from their crop production it is evident that the profit (per farmer) was R63 (maize), R235 (sorghum) and R64 (sunflower) per production season, respectively. The farmers indicated that the main reason for crop losses is drought, and to a minor extent damage caused by birds, stray animals, theft, diseases and pests. Damage caused by incompetency and monoculture practises are not considered a risk. However, if the potential farmers (semi-commercial and share croppers) receive training regarding sustainable agriculture, they will become accustomed to the complicacy regarding managing a sustainable agribusiness and can develop the needed skills necessary to manage a sustainable agribusiness. <![CDATA[<b>Effective linkages and participatory governance in the management of veld fires</b>]]> Integrated public governance is one of the challenges of Government. The importance of governmental departments, NGOs and stakeholders working together in a coordinated and well-managed manner in times of natural and man-initiated disasters, cannot be emphasised enough. To determine the nature and extent of this, the management of the most severe veld fires during 2008 in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province was researched with reference to the nature and extent of the integrated public governance achieved. The agricultural extension officers ' ability to establish interest groups in the respective communities and to build linkages between themselves and other organisations and government institutions has proved invaluable in the quest of the Limpopo Province Department of Agriculture (LDA) to bring about more effective public service delivery in the Province. In the article, notice has been taken of the most prominent legislation in the field of agricultural public service rendering, and the way in which public management per se and governmental relations as 'vehicles ' determined the level of effectiveness, efficiency and economy of the management of three major veld fires in the Alma, Rust de Winter and Dwaalboom areas. The response time by departmental officials of the various spheres of government and the ultimate time when governmental assistance was received, were compared. The vital roles of the Agricultural Extension Officer and the supporting offices of LDA in the management of agricultural related crises, are also highlighted. Lastly some logical conclusions are drawn and recommendations made to improve the agricultural service rendering in the Province. <![CDATA[<b>Towards designing a new agricultural extension service for the Eastern Cape Province</b>: <b>A perception analysis</b>]]> South Africa is in the process of rectifying the social injustices of the past and building a new future towards "equitable access and participation " in the agricultural sector (DoA, 2001) through the transference of farmland to emerging-black farmers and communities. This new class of farmers needs an effective extension service to help them become commercial farmers. However, agricultural extension is generally viewed to be ineffective. Thus, there is also a need for a revised extension model for, in this case, the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Eight factors were identified and were included in this study. The eight factors, viz. Personal characteristics of extension workers; Community cooperation and networks; Training of extension workers; Leadership and mentoring ability; Financial support; Institutional support (technical and skills); Communication; and Staffing. This paper is aimed at discussing the identified factors, related to organizational and human capital development, that are essential for effective extension and will propose the basis and design framework of an extension model discussed in a later paper. Researchers who are currently undergoing an academic programme/training at the University of the Free State and extension officers were interviewed via questionnaires in order to determine their perceived importance of the identified factors. The results revealed their perceptions regarding those eight identified factors and also their misconceptions relating to these factors, such as communication being the seventh most important factor. By developing these eight factors that require either human capital development or organizational development, the extension organization and its officers will begin in rectifying the identified problem. This study will ultimately lead to the subsequent development of an extension model for the Eastern Cape. <![CDATA[<b>The effectiveness of community action plans on farmers' livelihood in the Caprivi Region, Namibia</b>]]> Community Action Plans have been introduced by the Directorate of Extension and Engineering as a tool for implementing the Farming Systems Research and Extension approach in the Caprivi Region of Namibia. Although Community Action Plans (CAP) is a useful tool for implementing the FSRE approach in rural communities, not all stakeholders perceive it as useful. This study was designed to ascertain the usefulness of Community Action Plans as a strategy to support a bottom up extension approach. The following respondents were selected to determine their knowledge and perception of CAP: Extension staff, Mubiza Community with CAP and Bukalo Community without CAP. Two structured questionnaires were administered to a total of 95 respondents. According to the findings the Mubiza respondents (91%) indicated that they planned their development activities using CAP while 75% of Bukalo respondents indicated they have no plans. Mubiza community are significantly more satisfied (p= < 0.0001) with support received from Agricultural Extension Technicians than Bukalo community. The study reveals that Mubiza community are involved and participate more in community development activities. The majority (92%) of Mubiza respondents indicated quite clearly that they received appropriate support from community leaders, while only 42% of Bukalo respondents indicated receiving such appropriate support. Both, Extension staff and Mubiza Community, perceived CAP as an effective tool for implementing FSRE approach and improving the livelihood of communities.