Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 39 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Factors affecting the auction price of Veldram performance tested Dorper rams in Namibia</b>]]> Veldram performance testing has been conducted over a period of 14 years (1988 to 2002) at Kalahari Research Station in Namibia. During this period 2660 Dorper rams participated in 22 tests. Rams that met growth and breed standards were put up for auction at the completion of each test. The popularity of these auctions for performance tested rams (89.4 % of rams sold) indicate that Veld tested rams were sought after by buyers. The sale price of 296 Veld tested Dorper rams sold between 1994 and 2001, covering seven different tests, were compared with their measured and observed performances. Multiple regression and analysis of variance were carried out to determine which of the factors that were available to buyers significantly influenced price, as well as its contribution towards ram prices fetched. The contributing factors that had the biggest effect on price were Breed Classification (BC), Selection Index (SI), Average Daily Gain (ADG) and End test Mass (EM). This indicates that buyers did recognize the importance of performance data in selecting breeding rams and but most emphasis was on Breed standards (visual appearance). Although Breed Classification is the industry standard used by buyers, top ranking rams (stud) did not perform consistently/significantly better than flock rams. <![CDATA[<b>The perceived impact of herd management practices on sustainable Springbuck <i>(Antidorcas marsupialis)</i> ranching in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa</b>]]> Despite its relatively unregulated nature game ranching and utilisation is one of the more important agricultural economic activities and considered arguably the fastest growing enterprise in South Africa. Commercial springbuck (Antidorcas marsupialis) production systems are considered to be supreme examples of such commercial game ranching enterprises that have been established with varying degrees of efficiency and sustainability. Conversion to game ranching also seems to offer some answers to the increasing economic risks and decreasing sustainability associated with livestock farming in marginally profitable and low rainfall. The Eastern Cape Province is such an area. Earlier studies and associated literature suggest that market demand is steadily becoming highly sophisticated with very clear defined demands and expectations. A thorough understanding of game ranch managers' views on sustainability is imperative in order to develop some understanding on decision making regarding sustainability. The relative complexity of the decision making processes associated with commercial springbuck production (wildlife production) systems and the information needs of such decisions call for increased investigations into such processes. The development of instruments to assess the interrelationships of perceptions and decisions in these processes has therefore become of the utmost importance to ensure purposeful delivery of services and information to a highly competitive and diversified industry. This study is a contribution in this process of developing an instrument with which the nature and impact of production decisions on the sustainability of the wildlife ranching enterprise could be anticipated or even predicted. <![CDATA[<b>Effectiveness of the </b><b>farmer-to-farmer extension model in increasing technology uptake in Masaka and Tororo Districts of Uganda</b>]]> An effective extension model focuses strongly on the dissemination and facilitation of the adoption of recommended technologies and practices to achieve its objectives. The farmer-to-farmer extension model has proved a success in Latin America (Kruger, 1995; Simpson and Owens, 2002; Hellin, Rodriguez and Coello, 2002), the Far East (Farrington and Martin, 1993) and a number of African countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Muok, Kimondo and Atshusi, 2001). In recent years, the model has been introduced in Uganda following the perceived ineffectiveness of the public extension models. However, the success of the new model has not been tested or established. This study was, therefore designed to provide evidence of its performance. The objectives of the study, which was conducted in two districts of Uganda (Masaka and Tororo), were to: a) identify the key players in the farmer-to-farmer extension approach; b) explain the nature and characteristics of the major players; c) examine the roles played by key players in the communities; d) determine appropriate communication channels in the communities; and e) identify the determinants of the effectiveness of the farmer-to-farmer extension model The effectiveness of the farmer-to-farmer extension approach was measured by: i) increased technology uptake; ii) increased production; iii) increased food availability; iv) the multiplier effect in information-sharing; and v) increased sales of commodities. The results were compared to those in areas where the farmer-to-farmer approach was not applied but with all other conditions remaining the same. The effectiveness of the model was found to depend on facilitators in terms of: Faculty of Applied Sciences Bishop Stuart University P.O. Box 9, Mbarara, Uganda Winrock-SAFE, P.O. Box 24135, Code 1000, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia a) their socio-economic closeness to the beneficiaries; b) their multiple community roles which boosted communication networks; c) their role in enhanced information flow among individuals of similar social status; d) better interaction and information-sharing among beneficiaries; e) their being community-based they devoted more time to their fellow beneficiaries; f) their use of demonstration facilities for experiential learning. The model can be applicable in a wide range of development fields where beneficiaries assume roles of development facilitators in their own communities <![CDATA[<b>Towards redesigning the agricultural extension service in South Africa</b>: <b>views and proposals of smallholder farmers in the Eastern Cape</b>]]> The public extension service in the Eastern Cape Province is in vital need of revitalization if it is to transform the unproductive smallholder-agriculture sector into a more commercially-orientated sector. The research used a Logical Framework Analysis (LFA) enquiry to determine the problems smallholder farmers face as well as the causes and effects of their problems. The research participants stated that the main problem was ineffective farmer development. This was caused by, among others, poor farming systems and, lack of training, finances and support. This led to, among others, dependency, crime, unemployment and poverty. The participants said that they would like to become commercially productive. This would require, among others, access to training, finances and support, and improved farming systems. This would lead to reductions in crime, unemployment and poverty as well as them becoming independent and productive farmers. The smallholder farmers would not be able to solve these problems on their own, even with the help of an extensionist. These problems require input from multiple role players of the agricultural environment, as they need to be addressed from within a systems context. A platform would need to be created where all of the role players can interact in finding solutions. <![CDATA[<b>Towards redesigning the Agricultural extension service in South Africa</b>: <b>views and proposals of extensionists in the Eastern Cape</b>]]> The Eastern Cape's Department of Agriculture's extension service is in vital need of revitalization. The extension recovery plan has started this process, but international developments in agricultural extension suggest that the present extension model is outdated. The purpose of this paper is to firstly, acquire a SWOT-analysis from the extensionists on what they perceive to be the services strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Secondly, to enquire of the extensionists what they perceive to be the problems that the service is facing as well as their perceived roles, the desired outcomes of the extension service and activities to attain these outcomes. This is achieved through using an Objective-Orientated Intervention Planning process, which is an adapted form of Logical Framework Analysis. The main results from this study were what the extensionists perceived to be the activities required to reach the desired outcomes of effective extension. This paper is highly relevant as it follows a bottom-up approach in acquiring what extensionists believe to be the way forward and this paper will contribute to a forthcoming paper that will propose a redesigned extension service. <![CDATA[<b>Worth assessment of information and their access points by small scale cassava farmers in Nigeria</b>]]> This study determined the access, worth assessment and use of information by small-scale farmers in Oyo State. The study described socio-economic characteristics of small-scale cassava farmers; ascertained information access point preferences and analyzed information worth assessment. A multi stage sampling was used to select 360 respondents and data were collected through pre-tested and face validated questionnaire with a reliability coefficient of 0.88. The results show that majority of the cassava farmers (76.4%) had low access to information and 85.6% rated cassava innovation packages as of low worth. The most frequently used access point is oral communication (83%), which was also rated highest in motivation ability (77.7%), regularity (96.3%) and relevance of information (83.4%). Radio was rated as the most persistent (68.5%). social participation, farm size and use of hired labour had a statistically significant effect on access to information (p<0.01). Religious participation, average income and social participation also had a statistically significant effect on information worth assessment (p<0.05). The study recommends that local farmers' groups identified as information providers should be recognized and used in complementing conventional extension efforts. This will improve access, worth assessment and consequently use of improved cassava information by small-scale cassava farmers in Oyo State. <![CDATA[<b>Replacement adoption</b>: <b>a case of varietal substitution among farmers adopting Sawah rice production technology in Nigeria and Ghana</b>]]> This paper examined the incidence of replacement adoption through varietal substitution among farmers adopting Sawah-ecotechnology rice production technology in Nigeria and Ghana. A simple random sampling was used to select 80 farmers in Nigeria and 70 farmers in Ghana. Data were collected in June 2010 with a structured questionnaire in villages where Sawah rice production technology had been introduced. In Nigeria, 30 % of the farmers practice varietal substitution with the use of WITA 3, while in Ghana 40% practice varietal substitution using jasmine and sycamore. The results from the Probit model showed that significant variables include yield (t = 4.12) participation in on farm demonstration (t = 2.77) contact with Sawah agent (t = -1.93), varietal adaptability (t = -2.29), market price (t = 2.50), lodging proneness (t = 2.45), age (t = -3.35) and farming experience (t = 2.49) in Nigeria and Ghana. It therefore implies that the issues of varietal substitution must be viewed within the prevailing socio-economic and farming system milieu of farmers in order to enhance continuous adoption and sustained profit from Sawah technology <![CDATA[<b>Household food security in South Africa</b>: <b>evaluating extension's paradigms relative to the current food security and development goals</b>]]> Food insecurity is still a great concern for many households in South Africa. This situation is connected to the high level of poverty that exists in the country, particularly in rural areas. Rural households use five key pathways to address their food insecurity and poverty: an agricultural path; a multiple-activity path; an assistance path; a micro-enterprise path and an exit path. Using this framework of pathways, this paper presents a philosophical argument exploring the role agricultural extension can play to realise the goals of food security and poverty alleviation in South African rural households. Drawing on relevant published works, this paper argues that extension is particularly well positioned to address food insecurity and poverty through the instruments of technology transfer and innovation, human capital development, social capital development and increasing market access. These instruments were found capable of influencing the full range of pathways when applied through the agricultural path. <![CDATA[<b>The role of extension support to irrigation farmers in Lesotho</b>]]> Lesotho has plenty of water resources which could be used to improve the livelihoods of Basotho as a nation in many aspects. However, this seems not to be the case as Lesotho suffers from food security mostly during severe droughts, to an extent of seeking support from international communities. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on the very important role extension support should play in the practising of sustainable irrigation farming by smallholders. A structural questionnaire was administered amongst 153 irrigation farmers and 31 extension officers randomly in the four southern districts of Lesotho, namely Maseru, Mafeteng, Mohale's Hoek and Quthing. Extension credibility is highly questionable as 70% of irrigation farmers do not regard extension as important for irrigation management decisions. Although extension workers are generally well qualified, no in-service training is offered to help with the skilling of extensionists regarding irrigation management. Consequently the extension workers consider them not competent to provide support for irrigation farming. These results suggest the need for greater political and institutional input in irrigation farming; in particular there is a need to revisit institutional policy instruments and institution for extension, technical assistance, training and credit services that will facilitate performance of irrigation farming in Lesotho.