Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 44 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Developing alternative models to acquire land sustainably in the Free State Province</b>]]> Land redistribution must be accompanied by the relevant resources required for sustainable farming production and its beneficiaries must be capacitated before being settled on farms. Then farming productions must be monitored and evaluated for sustainability. Then, livelihood improvement on land reform beneficiaries must be put on scale. Based on all this mentioned factors the research was initiated to develop a model which will ensure that land acquisition is done in a sustainable manner to ultimately improve livelihoods of beneficiaries. <![CDATA[<b>Gender roles in the tomato value chain: A case study of Kilolo District and Dodoma Municipality in Tanzania</b>]]> Although agricultural value chain interventions are implemented they don't take into consideration different gender categories in the chain. This has partly contributed to failure by many interventions to increase agricultural production. It has also attributed to lack of enough information on gender roles in the agricultural value chain. A study was conducted to assess gender roles in the tomato value chain in Kilolo District and Dodoma Municipality in Tanzania. The study employed a cross sectional research design to collect data from 120 respondents. Key informants interviews and observations were used to supplement the collected data. The statistical package for social sciences was used to analyze data. In both study areas the identified actors were input suppliers, producers, transporters, coolies, brokers, traders and consumers. Box/crate/tenga makers were identified in Kilolo District but not in Dodoma Municipality. Different gender categories like youth, middle and old aged people of both sexes play different roles in the tomato value chain including input supplying, production, transportation and marketing. Middle-aged males followed by females of the same category perform more than half of the roles in the chain. It is recommended that interventions aimed at improving tomato production should focus more on the identified gender categories. <![CDATA[<b>Factors limiting and preventing emerging farmers to progress to commercial agricultural farming in the King William's Town area of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa</b>]]> The aim of the study was to investigate the main limiting factors that prevent emerging farmers from progressing from subsistence to commercial agricultural farming in the Eastern Cape Province. The study was conducted in the King William's Town area by means of a structured questionnaire survey. A sample of 50 households was drawn from the research area which was chosen owing to its uniqueness with regard to agricultural potential. A descriptive analysis technique was employed to investigate the main limiting factors faced by farming households in migrating towards commercial agricultural markets. The findings demonstrated that the specific limiting factors emerging farmers face are poor physical infrastructure such as poor roads, lack of transportation to the markets from the farms, lack of marketing skills and information, poor market infrastructure, and high transaction costs, insufficient land availability to expand production, lack of agricultural implements to better production, poor production and farm management skills, as well as low education levels which results in an inability to interpret market information to be used in production planning and marketing. The results from the study highlighted that the government has a crucial role to play in increasing market participation of emerging farmers through encouraging group marketing, upgrading of roads to enable smooth accessibility of farmers to output markets and the establishment of local point sales in farming rural areas. Finally the study recommended that government provides planned workshops to all farmers in order to equip them with marketing knowledge. <![CDATA[<b>Production performance and profitability analysis of small scale layer projects supported through CASP in Germiston Region, Gauteng Province</b>]]> The purpose of this study was to conduct a descriptive survey to study production performance, profitability and constraints of small scale layer projects funded through CASP in Germiston Region, Gauteng Province. Data was collected using a well-structured questionnaire from 26 small scale layer producers using purposive sampling technique. To assess the reliability of the questionnaire, Cronbach's alpha was used. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics such as extent of mean, standard deviation, coefficient of variation and correlation analysis. Gross margin analysis was used to determine the profitability. The constraints were analysed using the Likert scale technique. The result of the study reveals that the average flock size kept by farmers was 587 layers and mortality rate was 4%. Hen-day egg production on average was 80%. High cost of feed, access to funding and cost of pullets were amongst constraints associated with egg production in the study area. The total revenue, total variable cost and gross margin were R265.37, R342.98 and R77.61, respectively per bird. In conclusion it was found that egg production was profitable in the study area. The study recommended that farmers should be assisted with economic unit structures and supporting structure should be in place for technical advices through agricultural extension. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of succession planning on the sustainability of cane production by small-scale cane growers in the North Coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa</b>]]> This paper forms part of a research study for a PhD, which has been conducted in the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal and focuses on the sustainability of emerging cane growers. The research problem of the study was that cane growers cannot be sustained beyond the current generation of existing farmers because young people are not interested. Agriculture takes place in rural areas which are characterised by high levels of poverty. Cane farming, like other agricultural production activities, is the major economic driver in these areas. However, the current cane growers are ageing and the economy will be negatively impacted unless the youth succeed their parents as farmers. Sustainability of cane production depends on the preparedness of the offspring of the cane growers to succeed them as farmers. The results of the study revealed two responses. The first response suggested that young people whose parents are cane growers are willing to succeed their parents and become cane growers. The second response suggested that where discussions on succession planning have taken place there was an increase in the number of young people indicating an interest in succeeding their parents. The paper concludes with a recommendation that there is a need for developing succession planning in the North Coast farming area. <![CDATA[<b>Disseminating Genetically Modified (GM) maize technology to smallholder farmers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa: Extension personnel's awareness of stewardship requirements and dissemination practices</b>]]> Advice and technical information from extension services are critical in promoting new technologies and their adoption by farmers. This study determined extension personnel's awareness of GM maize technology and the associated extension services they provide to smallholder GM maize farmers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with extension staff of the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) in the province. Results indicated that inadequate training of extension personnel on GM maize technology influenced their perceptions of GM maize technology and awareness of its stewardship requirements. Generally, personnel had a low level of awareness of GM maize technology as a pest control strategy. Awareness of GM maize stewardship requirements amongst extension personnel was also low. These extension personnel disseminated GM maize technology, which they generally perceived as a high-yield technology, to smallholder farmers using non-participatory approaches and media sourced from GM seed companies. The findings of this study suggest that ensuring safe and sustainable adoption of GM maize technology on smallholder farms will require a more participatory extension approach that emphasizes smallholder farmers' access to information as well as the training of extension personnel on the stewardship requirements and dissemination practices associated with GM maize cultivation. <![CDATA[<b>Implications of rural irrigation schemes on household economy. A case of Lower Gweru Irrigation Scheme, Zimbabwe</b>]]> Rural poverty is a major challenge in most developing countries especially in Africa where the majority of people are still living below the poverty datum line. In Zimbabwe, poverty is made more severe by occasional droughts associated with climate change, climate variability and failed socio-economic-political governance. One of the ways to mitigate the impact of drought and prevent deepening poverty is the introduction of small irrigation schemes. However, there is a raging debate on the social and economic viability of these schemes on household livelihood security and income. This paper aims at investigating the socioeconomic impacts of Lower Gweru Irrigation project in Zimbabwe. A case study approach was used in this study. Primary data was gathered using self-administered questionnaire and complemented by secondary data. Results demonstrated that rural irrigation has a critical role in ensuring sustainable household and community income. Irrigators fared well regarding wealth accumulation, household food security and quality of life as measured through the use of standardised HDI. In light of the above, there is a need to fund and develop more rural irrigation schemes so as to ensure livelihood security and rural development in Zimbabwe. <![CDATA[<b>Incorporating rural users in small-scale growing container development: A case study</b>]]> If the users ofproducts developed for them are incorporated in the design process it is more likely that an acceptable and usable outcome will be achieved. A user-centred design process places a stronger emphasis on user involvement. In cases where the users live far away from the design facilities, certain logistical and financial constraints become apparent because an iterative process of feedback and development is required. Against this background, the Department of Industrial Design at the University of Johannesburg chose a project to use as case study to analyse the iterative design process. The case described in this article is a project which involves the development of small-scale agricultural products for users in a rural area of the Limpopo province. This development is being undertaken by the University of Johannesburg with the aim of developing water-efficient growing systems suited to the people in the area. Studying this project required multiple field trips allowing for observation, data gathering and prototype implementation. This article examines the strategic objectives of each of the role players who assisted in undertaking the research in an attempt to identify shared interests and provide recommendations and concerns associated with developing products for people in rural areas. <![CDATA[<b>Participation in Limpopo farmer mechanisation support program: Lesson learned from Schoonoord and Moripane cases</b>]]> Extension programs are initiated and implemented in various communities wherein similar and proportionally equal resources are provided. However, the performance and successes of such programs differ greatly from one case to another. The study assessed the impact realised from the participation of farmers in the implementation of government's farmer mechanisation support program through interviews of randomly and purposively selected farmers and traditional leaders respectively, and all available tractor operators using semi-structured interview schedule. Personal observation and experience realised by extension workers during program implementation was used in the interpretation of findings and formulation of conclusions. The study was conducted in Makhuduthamaga local agricultural area in Sekhukhune District of Limpopo Province in South Africa. The study conducted a comparative analysis of two cases: Schoonoord and Moripane sorghum and maize belt respectively. The study found that when farmers play a leading role in implementation of agricultural development programs, such programs become successful and sustainable than when extension workers are in the lead. The study recommends active farmer participation approach in farmer development programs for sustainability through acquisition of sense of responsibility, ownership and self-reliance. <![CDATA[<b>Contribution of food security projects on poverty alleviation to the communities of Limpopo Province, South Africa</b>]]> Despite South Africa's economic growth having been accelerated considerably in the country, poverty levels have not decreased as one would have experienced. Food Security Projects initiated by the government of South Africa in order to help alleviate poverty within Limpopo Province have proved unsustainable and difficult to provide for what they were mandated to provide to the satisfaction of the government, which is to create jobs and alleviate poverty. The purpose of this study was to assess the contribution of food security projects on poverty alleviation in the communities. The study was conducted in the five districts of Limpopo Province, namely; Mopani, Vhembe, Capricorn, Sekhukhune and Waterberg. Qualitative design was used in this study. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured interview guide which was administered to 50 chairpersons of the food security projects. The study also followed audit components such as economic components, political components, health and education components, environmental components and social components which were used to assess the economic and material characteristics of the communities. The results affirmed that food security projects are contributing to poverty alleviation to the beneficiaries and to a lesser extent to the community members. <![CDATA[<b>Enhancing farmers' organizational and experimentation capacities for soil fertility management in smallholder cropping systems in Vhembe District of Limpopo Province in South Africa</b>]]> The JOLISAA project analysed a number of multi-stakeholder innovation cases in smallholder agriculture in Benin, Kenya and South Africa through a Collaborative Case Assessment process. The overriding assumption was that a comparative analysis of wide ranging innovation experiences may provide useful insights into the way that innovation processes are triggered and unfold in smallholder agricultural systems. One of the cases investigated in South Africa was from Limpopo Province. This was a project-based innovation processes, initiated to redress how agricultural and social development in rural communities should be addressed through the adoption of the Participatory Extension Approach (PEA). The approach focused on the reorientation of mindsets in Limpopo Department of Agricultural, which were still founded on the teaching of linear transfer of technology models, and where farmers were approached with a believe that extension have all the answers to farmer problems. Participatory Rural Appraisal methodologies were used to interview smallholder farmers and key informants. It was revealed that this was a case of an innovation bundle where the main innovation was an institutional innovation, with the introduction of PEA through the GTZ/BASED program. The aim was to broaden agricultural service and extension delivery to smallholder farmers in the Vhembe district. In the unpacking of the soil fertility management innovation it was revealed that the innovation consists of a number of innovations, which include technical and organisation innovations. The GTZ/BASED program trained some 700 extensionists in the PEA methodology, capacitating them to facilitate technical innovations amongst smallholders in one of four technical areas. A total of 397 villages were eventually served. The extensionists specialising in soil fertility management teamed up with a local university to redress a severe decline in soil fertility in two smallholder irrigation schemes, Rammbuda and Mphaila. Together with farmers they experimented with innovative ways like green manuring with forage legumes. These technical innovation processes created capacity amongst smallholders that triggered spontaneous farmer-initiated experimentation and innovation processes to improve smallholder farming systems and livelihoods. The key challenge identified was that decisive institutional ownership is required to sustain an enabling environment allowing innovation processes to continue beyond the project phase. The key lesson was that project initiated innovations could trigger farmer innovations and that developmental change strategies should explore such opportunities. <![CDATA[<b>Collaborative learning of water conservation practices: Cultivation and expansion of a learning network around rainwater harvesting demonstration sites in the Eastern Cape, South Africa</b>]]> Learning together in mediated voluntary networks can mobilise skills and innovations that help to facilitate learning and uptake of rainwater harvesting and conservation practices. It boosts extension capacity while at the same time growing farmer capabilities, tapping on the distributed cognition. These practices help to heal wicked problems of drought and global change challenges affecting marginalised farmers in South Africa. South Africa has water, nutrition andfood security challenges, especially the Eastern Cape Province where there is a relatively high level of poverty. These challenges place heavy pressure on the agricultural sector as it is the main user of the allocated water in the country. In this paper, the learning of and agency for rainwater harvesting and conservation practices are explored as responses to these challenges. Despite existing cultural histories of such practices among the amaXhosa people, information on these practices is not readily available to small-scale rural farmers who thus struggle for the want of knowing. This research forms part of a Water Research Commission project, Amanzi for Food, whose intention is to mediate collaborative and co-engaged learning among networked farmers, extension workers, researchers and agricultural educators through course-mediated use of Water Research Commission rainwater harvesting and conservation materials.