Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 43 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of vegetable production practices in QwaQwa within Thabo Mofutsanyana District</b>]]> In this study, the information such as biographical information of the vegetable farmers, information about the vegetable gardens or farms, the current vegetable farming practices, irrigation practices on the vegetable soil and the farmers' physical and financial records were assessed. The assessment was conducted through interviews and questionnaires. Seventy three point three percent of the farmers' respondents farm on communal land whereas 33.3% of the respondents are farming on land size of two to four hectares. A model was developed to reflect the process vegetable farmers must follow when acquiring communal land from the Chief for vegetable production. Sixty six point seven percent plough the garden soil to the depth of 30cm. Of the twenty-eight respondents, 85.7% are planting in seedbeds while the rest are planting on ordinary rows without seedbeds. The findings of this study will guide vegetables farmers towards best practices on vegetable production. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of poultry developments in the Lejweleputswa District within the Free State Province</b>]]> The Lejweleputswa district is considered to be the poultry district due to several poultry enterprises which were established in it for the emerging poultry farmers as from the year 2002. Most of the layer and broiler production enterprises are considered unsustainable since 98% of them cannot progressively supply the formal market demand. However, the research need was identified to assess layer and broiler production enterprises as part of coordinated poultry projects planning for sustainable production. Gender, youth, disabled people and the training needs, training received by poultry farmers, available poultry enterprises and housing were also assessed. The aim was to revive them if possible by training the farmers and recommend funding to different funders. The education level of the farmers was looked into. It was found that when electing the representatives of various legal entities for poultry the level of qualification must be considered. Methods such as interviews, meeting, checklists, observations, profiles were used in collecting data. Findings reflected 213 poultry beneficiaries and twenty one poultry enterprises in the Lejweleputswa district. Four percent are with disability whereas 52% are females. This reflects that in poultry production in the district women are more involved than men. Twenty three percent (23%) of the total beneficiaries are youth a clear reflection that youth are inadequately involved in agriculture. <![CDATA[<b>Farmers' perception of risk in cultivating hybrid rice in Bangladesh</b>]]> Although there is an enormous potential for improving adoption of hybrid rice in Bangladesh, it is going through some difficulties in practice. Understanding farmers' perception about difficulties is critical to successful promotion. The present study was conducted to analyze farmers' perception of risk in cultivating hybrid rice and its relationship with the selected characteristics. The study was conducted in five regions of Bangladesh. A concurrent embedded design using a cross sectional survey was employed. The population of this study consisted of rice growers of the boro season. A multistage stratified random sampling design was employed in selecting the sample of 425 farmers. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews using a pre-tested and back translated questionnaire. Findings indicated that a vast majority of non-adopters (97.5%), de-adopters (94.2%) and continuing adopters (89.2%) perceived moderate to serious risks in cultivating hybrid rice. Data also confirmed a significant relationship between farm size, promotional efforts, farmers' attitudes towards hybrid rice and their perception of risk in cultivating it. The results of this study raise important considerations for research leaders, policy makers and extension worker to refine the policy guidelines for the promotion of hybrid rice in Bangladesh. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of Information Communication Technology (ICT) on agricultural information access among extension officers in North West Province South Africa</b>]]> This study determined the effect of Information Communication Technology (ICT) on agricultural information access among extension officers in North West Province South Africa. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 169 officers from which data were collected with structured and face validated questionnaire. Fourteen statements were perceived by officers as having an effect on improving information access. Significant determinants of the effect of ICT on information access were education (t= 2.61, p = 0.11); constraints to ICT tools (t= 2.60, p = .010), use of ICT tools (t = 4.67, p = .000) and e-readiness (t= -3.01, p =.003). <![CDATA[<b>Factors affecting farmers' participation in irrigation schemes of the Lower Niger River Basin and Rural Development Authority, Kwara State, Nigeria</b>]]> In Nigeria the performances of many governments owned irrigation schemes have fallen short of expectation. Management issues and steps required to ensure sustainable growth in irrigated agriculture were not given proper attention. This study therefore examined those factors affecting farmers' participation in irrigated agriculture at the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA) in Kwara State, Nigeria. One hundred and sixty (160) respondents were selected from communities around LNRBDA site at Oke Oyi for this study through a two-stage sampling procedures. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression model. The result showed that majority of respondents were farmers within the economic active age and relatively literate. They identified factors affecting farmers' participation in the scheme to include poor knowledge of irrigation techniques(78.3%), Insufficient water for irrigation during the dry season (80.5%), high cost of labour (75.8%), Lack of access to credit facility (76.6%), poor response to farmers' needs by the Authority (85.2%), Irregular pumping of water (86.7),. Consequently, the study recommended encouragement of participatory irrigation scheme (PIM) in which farmers would take charge of daily allocation of water while the authority serves as supervisory body and stepping up of extension activities within the surrounding villages. <![CDATA[<b>Changing demands of clients of extension: What kind of competency is needed to meet the new demand?</b>]]> Two studies were conducted in which the first one focused on thirty extension practitioners in Limpopo province. This study formed part of a bigger study which was initiated by Extension Africa, which is made up of African researchers from African countries and in the Diaspora. Extension Africa research organization has embarked on extension research in nine African countries focussing on problems that faced small holder farmers. One aspect of the study was to look at the competency of the extension staff in terms of delivering an efficient and effective service to satisfy the needs of farmers. This paper finds the study relevant for this purpose and it draws from its data. The findings suggest that an extension staff should be competent in the area of: development theory 93%, development policy, 93%, development practice 93%, training in development 90%, development process 80%, training in development 90%. There is also a need to be competent in communication from different facets e.g. communication for building linkages 90% , public speaking, 86%, facilitation 90%,Communication for integration 86.6 %, and for communication for coordination 87 %. The second study report on the relevant technical competency needed to resolve the climatic challenges faced by farmers, climatic challenges form part of the new mandate that extension staff is supposed to consider when addressing farmer's needs. 194 farmers were interviewed from four local agricultural offices of Limpopo namely: Fetakgomo, Makhuduthamaga, Aganang and Blouberg. The information was collected through a questionnaire which was analysed through the SPSS system. The findings suggest that there are eight areas that farmers expect extension staff to be competent. These areas can be seen as strategies to mitigate against climate change and are summarized as good cultural practices. Some of these practices include the following: soil mulching skills, fertilizer recommendation, and zero tillage, knowledge of early maturity variety, early ploughing, drought resistant seed and water harvesting. The paper concludes with three recommendations namely, extension practitioners should acquire the necessary skills; they should be trained in both technical and in extension methods and they should be knowledgeable in terms of conflict resolution, negotiation, and persuasive communication skills. These skills are important in assisting farmers to cope with changes that they face due to forces of change that affect their productivities. <![CDATA[<b>Adapted SERVQUAL for evaluating the provision of information as an agricultural Extension Service in South Africa</b>]]> The paper describes the adaptation of the Service Quality Instrument (SERVQUAL) for measuring the provision of information as an Extension Service. It explores agricultural Extension Services as a customer service and SERVQUAL as a service evaluation tool. The study aims to provide an adapted SERVQUAL instrument which includes a dimension for the measurement of the provision of information as a service. The reliability of the adapted instrument is tested by examining the results of a practical implementation thereof. The reliability of the adapted instrument is confirmed by using quantitative analysis of empirical data. Data used in the analysis was collected by means of a case study involving an agricultural organisation in the South African grain sector. This paper serves as the impetus for a discussion on the evaluation of the provision of Information as a Service, as provided by an agricultural organisation using Extension Services. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of factors that impact on the viability of contract farming: A case study of maize and soya beans in Mashonaland West and Central Provinces in Zimbabwe</b>]]> This research analyses factors that affect the viability of contract farming in the Zimbabwean maize and soya sector. The objective was to analyse how sustainability factors (social, ethical, environmental and economic factors) were integrated to ensure the viability and sustainability of contract ventures. A sample of 70 farmers and 4 contracting firms involved in the contract farming production of maize and soya were used. A questionnaire survey and focus group interviews were used as data gathering tools. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques were used and a probit regression model was applied to identify the factors that impacts significantly on the viability of the enterprises. The farmer's scale, years of experience, availability of inputs, crop grown, production area and access to finances were all identified as the significant factors affecting contract farming viability. It was recommended that farmers refrain from side marketing and contractors stick to contractual agreements in terms of payments and timely provision of inputs. <![CDATA[<b>Policy opportunities to enhance the role of smallholder livestock systems in Limpopo Province of South Africa</b>]]> Post-apartheid administrations in South Africa were faced with redressing the legacy of multifaceted poverty and social inequalities created by apartheid politics. The entrance of smallholder farmers into the mainstream economy became a government priority and policy aim. Institutional efforts in Limpopo Province provided infrastructure to establish poultry and vegetable producing enterprises. Very few livestock projects were funded. The success rate of institutional interventions was low. We argue that smallholder livestock systems offer policy opportunities to realise post-apartheid reform goals in the smallholder livestock sector. The premises are; there are more livestock in communal smallholder sector than in the commercial sector. This indicates there is a substantial level of natural, human and social capital existing within smallholder livestock systems. Secondly, commercial livestock systems are increasingly converted to game and wildlife enterprises necessitating imports of large numbers of livestock from Namibia to account for the shortfall in red-meat in South Africa. It is possible that the low off-take characterising smallholder livestock and the Cattle Complex Philosophy probably deterred past efforts to recognise the potential of smallholder livestock systems for rural and agricultural development. The Cattle Complex Philosophy claims that African smallholders have an attitudinal resistance to sell livestock. Data from a survey amongst 193 households in ten villages of Sekhukhune District of Limpopo Province illustrates that low livestock sales relates to the dysfunctional composition, sub-optimal reproductive potential and high calf mortality of smallholder herds. Conclusions and policy recommendations are offered. <![CDATA[<b>Improving the livelihoods of wool producers in a sustainable manner by optimizing the woolled sheep production systems within the communal farming area of the Eastern Cape. <i>"A vision that is future directed"</i></b>]]> The main objective of the NWGA is to improve both the quality and quantity of wool produced in the communal wool sheep farming areas of South Africa. Shearing sheds in the communal area were divided into three performance categories namely top, average and bottom sheds. This finding has led to two questions: Why and where do they differ? Can something be done to improve the performance of the sheds? A total of five (5) top, five (5) average and seven (7) bottom sheds were selected to collect data from 179 respondents. The socio-economic data is always important to indicate clearly who the respondents are. The average age of respondents is 59.46 and 64% male and 36% females. There are more members in the top sheds than in the other two categories. Although a large number of respondents can read and write, the majority do have only a qualification at the lower level. A total of 83% of the respondents do have some years of experience in sheep farming. Respondents in the top shed have significantly more sheep, cattle and goats than respondents in the average and bottom sheds. Significantly more farmers attend the top shed meetings than farmer members in the other two categories. A total of 39% respondents indicated that good sheep health control will lead to higher wool production and the most common diseases as perceived by respondents are Sheep scab, Blue tongue and internal parasites. Burr/weeds and paints are the two most important objects of wool contamination. Significantly more sheep are sheared in the top sheds, they pack more bales and the weight of the bales is higher than in the average and bottom sheds. Farmer's most important needs are financial issues, farm infrastructure and they need more land. To improve the profitability and productivity of wool sheep farming at all shearing sheds within the communal farming area. A specific extension program addressing the specific needs will be presented to farmers in each of the three shearing shed groups.