Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 43 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Irrigation technology for smallholder farmers: A strategy for achieving household food security in lower Gweru Zimbabwe</b>]]> The problem of food insecurity in developing countries is an enormous challenge. In rural communities, it is a perennial problem that requires undivided attention to ensure household food security. This paper seeks to define the role of rural participation in providing household and community food security with a particular focus on Lower Gweru irrigation project in Zimbabwe. The research comes in light of increased food deficit in Zimbabwe that has been compounded by failed politics, climate change and weather extreme events. Data was gathered using self-administered questionnaires, direct observation and literature review. Data was analysed using the Microsoft Excel 365 ToolPak and Health24 Web Calculator. This paper highlights the importance of rural irrigation schemes in addressing community and household food security and ensuring health nutrition uptake by irrigators and surrounding communities. Rural irrigation systems enable farmers to become net food sellers allowing them to benefit from food price volatility. It also highlights the resultant development and makes recommendations for future irrigation developments. <![CDATA[<b>Livestock extension practice and competency among agricultural extension agents in North-Central Nigeria</b>]]> The challenge of meeting the ever-increasing demand for animal products in Nigeria has become keen over the years. A major factor is low technology input by the bulk of animal producers. Because Extension has a crucial role to play, the purpose of this study was to investigate livestock extension (LE) activities and competencies of Agricultural Extension Agents (AEA's) in north-central Nigeria. Data were collected from 112 randomly selected AEA's with the aid of a structured questionnaire that consisted of positively presented livestock extension practice and competency items on 5-point Likert-type scales. A Livestock Extension Competency Coefficient (LECC) was computed for each respondent. The test-retest technique was used to pre-test the instrument, yielding a coefficient r=0.91. Descriptive, correlation and t-test statistics were used to analyze data. Results revealed that about 40% of respondents engaged in livestock extension activities in the last two years, while about 16% actually specialized in Animal Production while in school. Respondents generally expressed competence in some aspects of livestock production such as feeding, handling, housing, and production management systems. However, respondents claimed less competence in sire selection, breeding, diseases and pests control. Significant correlates of LECC were job experience, contact with farmers, number of trainings attended, and level of job satisfaction. Major LE constraints identified by respondents were inadequate LE programmes, funding, inadequate training, and lack of subject matter specialists. The paper concluded by proffering recommendations on how to adequately address the constraints and the low level of LE activities. <![CDATA[<b>Wool versus mutton in extensive grazing areas</b>]]> This paper investigates the relative profitability of woolled and mutton sheep under field conditions in an extensive grazing area. The dataset comprises 34 fulltime farmers and 75% of the sheep in the district. There was no difference in unit production costs or net farm income per sheep in the flock. Dorper flocks recorded higher lambing rates and Merinos lower rates ofpredation, which deserves further investigation. The percentage woolled sheep in the flock was modelled as a logit function of farm size, crop area, tradition and terrain ruggedness, although the latter was not significant. These results confirm earlier recommendations that reproductive efficiency must be carefully monitored in Merino flocks. The extension message is that on average there is no financial advantage to woolled sheep production, although this could change if woolledflocks could be made more productive. The wool industry must not stop serving these extremely arid areas. <![CDATA[<b>Promoting the purchasing of performance tested dorper rams: The role of agricultural extension</b>]]> The sale price of 868 Dorper rams sold between 2004 and 2013 were compared with their measured performances. The independent variables (Selection, Weaning Index, Wean direct, Wean maternal, Post wean, Breeding value for number of lambs weaned (GLS), Relative economic value (REV), Selection Index percentage (SI%), Scrotal deviation (SD), Mean Lamb Index (MLI) and Ewe productivity Index (EPI) were used to predict the dependent variable (sale price of the Dorper rams) from 2004 to 2013. Factors with the most significant influence in order of importance were selection (stud or commercial), SI% and REV. It is evident that rams with better performance figures fetched higher prices. Although buyers did consider breeding values when buying rams none of it consistently contributed to sale price. It appears that buyers rather responded on SI%, a performance parameter familiar to them which was displayed in the sale catalogue from the beginning of the project. In an extension approach performance data must form the base for convincing breeders and farmers to move towards more scientific breeding methods, combining visual evaluation with measured performance at all Dorper sales. A unified effort by research, extension and the Breeders' Society may address the problem best. <![CDATA[<b>Farmers adoption of recommended rice varieties: A case of Kilombero District of Morogoro Region, Tanzania</b>]]> Kilombero is one of the Districts in Tanzania that is famous in rice production and several practices have been introduced in order to improve production like improved rice seed varieties. Despite this adoption of recommended practices has not been convincing. A study was conducted to assess the current level of adoption and factors influencing adoption of recommended rice varieties. A cross - sectional research design was used where data were collected at a single point in time. A pre- tested questionnaire was used to collect data from 120 respondents from six villages, namely Mang'ula A and Mang'ula B from Mang'ula Ward and Kisawasawa and Ichonde villages from Kisawasawa Ward. Other villages were Mkula and Sonjo from Mkula Ward. The collected data were analysed by using a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Computer Program. Chi-square was used to test whether there is significant difference between the two variables under investigation while correlation was used to test whether there is any relationship between the same variables. The study findings reveal low adoption of recommended rice varieties where by only 43.3% planted TXD 306 which is a recommended rice variety. Most of the investigated intervening factors like Efficiency misperception, Need tension and Prominence seemed to influence the adoption of recommended rice varieties while the independent variables had no influence in the adoption behaviour. This calls the need to address the factors that influence adoption in order to address the problem of low adoption in the study area and hence improve rice yield. <![CDATA[<b>Minding the gap between policy and practice amongst extension workers: Lessons from KwaZulu Natal</b>]]> 20 years into a post-apartheid South Africa, the National Development Plan (NDP) provides the contextual and institutional framework for all of governments activities. As a result, there is a call for extension to increasingly become associated with efficient and effective delivery of services in line with government policy to improve the quality of public services which are critical to achieving a transformed racially equitable public service. This article interrogates the issue of a gap between policy and implementation amongst Extension Workers by reflecting on the findings of research conducted as part of a doctoral study in Public Administration by the main author at the University of KwaZulu Natal. The article makes reference to the findings related to policy knowledge amongst Extension Workers and the challenges related to policy implementation in KwaZulu Natal, and seeks to use the findings of this research to present opportunities and challenges for the implementation of the NDP and concludes that whilst Extension Workers are now challenged to find a balance between their functionality within extension and as public servants, it is important for some consideration to be made by government and education institutions for the changing roles of Extension Workers. <![CDATA[<b>The transfer of intergenerational family knowledge for sustainable commercial farming in Mpumalanga province of South Africa: Lessons for extension</b>]]> This study focuses on intergenerational knowledge transfer in commercial family farms as a tool for sustainable agriculture. The rationale is two pronged; the need for smallholder farmers to learn from the commercial enterprises; and extension professional to assess how these experiences can be integrated into practice. The key research questions addressed are; what key intergenerational knowledge sustains commercial farming? What are the modes of knowledge transfer? What are key learning points for smallholder farmer extension practice? A case study approach was applied and data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire and research on family histories. Key knowledge themes that were identified as critical for intergenerational transfer include; maintaining a business mindset; investment and diversification decisions; planning and implementing operational plans; valuing human resources; genetic preservation; adapting to changing climatic conditions and risk taking. The key modes of knowledge transfer were continuous engagement, discussions and networking. The study concludes that smallholder farmers need to incorporate these lessons in commercialising their enterprises. <![CDATA[<b>A comparison of project participants and extension officers perception about participation in agricultural projects in the North West Province, South Africa</b>]]> The study examined the perception of project participants and extension officers about participation in agricultural projects. Specific objectives of the study were (1) to determine the degree of participation, and (2) format of participation as perceived by project participants and extension officers in the North West Province. A questionnaire was designed to collect data, in which structured and unstructured questions were used. To ensure a good flow of ideas, the questionnaire was divided into distinct sections. Data was captured and analysed by the Department of Statistics of the University of Pretoria. The data was collected by means of personal interviews with a total of 129 project participants and 75 extension officers. The major findings were as follows: (1) Project participants initiated, and volunteered to participate in, projects, and owned and planned them. (2) The major decisions were made and accountability was retained by the project participants. (3) Project participants were consulted during needs assessments and during project development. (4) In terms of support, the community and the extension officers supported the project participants in many ways, such as allowing them to do farming on communal land and DARD provided infrastructure and training. Findings also showed that there was genuine participation in most projects. (5) According to both respondent categories there are too many members in the projects. (6) Extension officers participated well in the initial phase of the project but not sufficiently in the follow up phases of the project. <![CDATA[<b>Farmers' perception on contact frequency, adequacy, relevance and quality of agriculture support services (Ass) in Oshikoto region in Namibia</b>]]> In Oshikoto region of Namibia, agricultural services are associated with several challenges such as, lack of enough resources, unresponsiveness to farmers' needs, ineffectiveness and unreliability. In addition, the roles played by different stakeholders are not well understood. Despite these challenges there are many Agricultural Support Services (ASS) providers in the Oshikoto region. It is against that background that this paper explores farmers' perception with regard to the services provided by ASS in the Oshikoto region. The paper uses a case study approach on communal and commercial farmers in Oshikoto region. Results from the study shows that service providers who were perceived to be adequate, relevant, and able to give quality services, have only catered for a few farmers whereby communal farmers receive less of these services compared to commercial farmers. Over half of the farmers had no contact with an ASS provider for over a year. Private Extension Providers, NGOs, and Agricultural Mentors were among the ASS providers that were perceived to offer adequate, relevance and quality services compared to the rest. Findings from the study will help to improve current and future working relationship between ASS and farmers. In addition, the findings can assist in the developing of an Agricultural Extension Policy in Namibia that involves all stakeholders and address the needs of farmers. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of dysfunctional stakeholder collaboration on performance of land reform initiatives: Lessons from community based rural land development project in Malawi</b>]]> Most countries have implemented land reform programmes to assist address the challenges of poverty and inequality especially in rural areas. Land reform becomes relevant in countries whose rural livelihoods remain predominantly agro-dependent making land a primary productive resource. In many of these countries land reform was given greater political priority than agriculture, perhaps more symbolic than real. However, only a few land reform projects have managed to meet both in the short and long term delivery targets after transferring the land to beneficiaries. A study was conducted to evaluate the impact of Malawi's Community Based Rural Land Development Project (CRLDP) two years after its phase out in 2011. An assessment of the efficacy of post settlement support was included in the study to help explain any causes for attainment or nonattainment of the stated objectives. The paper argues that adequate post-settlement support and effective collaboration of all role players are necessary preconditions for sustained performance and functioning of land reform beneficiary groups. The results showed that Beneficiary Groups faced greater difficulties to access agricultural inputs, credit, markets, extension services and infrastructure to support their agricultural production and access to social services. This was attributable to poor collaboration of stakeholders which affected integrated and holistic provision ofpost settlement support. As a consequence, household food and income security deteriorated after phase out of the project in 2011. The study recommends adoption of an interactive institutional framework for coordinated provision of post settlement support for land reform projects like the CBRLDP. This entails embedding project management arrangements that should encourage and support effective interaction and involvement of public sector, private sector and the NGO sector to close service and information gaps needed by land reform beneficiaries.