Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 46 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Possibility of organic beef production on South African communal farms</b>]]> South African communal farmers possess indigenous breeds and resources required for organic beefproduction. However, the market off-take rate from communal farms is 5-10%, compared to 25% on commercial farms, despite the fact that 40% of cattle are found on communal lands. The objective of the study was to investigate the possibility of organic beef production on South African communal farms, using Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) conducted with communal cattle farmers in UMgungundlovu, KwaZulu-Natal. The findings revealed that socio-cultural factors are the primary reasons for keeping cattle, with cash generation being a secondary importance. Despite the lack of external support, communal farmers value their communal production systems and produce which are labelled 'organic' by default. These farmers perceive this system as wholesome; results in mature and tasty meat with several domestic and medicinal benefits compared to conventional cattle production systems, hence, its products should be sold at a premium. Socio-behavioural factors, such as isolation, inferiority and lack of institutional support, market access and market information pertaining to the marketing of organic beef are the reasons why communal farmers are not actively participating in the South African formal beef market. It can be concluded that facilitating product differentiation and the involvement of communal farmers as stakeholders in the South African formal beef market through civic engagement has the potential to increase off-take rates from communal farms, rather than the bottom-up and top-down management strategies. <![CDATA[<b>The role of partnerships in agricultural extension service delivery: a study conducted in provincial departments of agriculture in South Africa</b>]]> There are different role players in the provision and support of extension in South Africa and the main one is the Government. This study seeks to report on the perceptions of advisors with regards to the role of partnerships in South African extension and advisory services. The study targeted a population of approximately 3 369 extension practitioners in South Africa from different occupational positions which included agricultural advisors, agricultural technicians, agricultural development technicians, senior advisors, and subject matter specialists. The findings indicate that partnerships are important in extension and advisory services. It can generally improve the provision of extension and advisory services in the sector. Provinces were differing in their state of awareness about partnerships, but when it comes to the usefulness of partnerships 50% of the respondents, agreed that partnership was important. Respondents identified six factors that are perceived to be critical for partnerships, namely capacity building, networking and learning, technical support, financial assistance, research, and new technology. Furthermore, three main strategies were identified to promote partnerships which include the use of formal agreements with partnerships, conducting needs analysis, and using invitation. The majority of respondents (72%) noted that the Free State Province was of the opinion that commodity organisations are very helpful in partnerships. The paper concludes with a recommendation of developing terms of reference (TOR) or operational guidelines for operationalising partnerships as well as the keeping of records to harmonise their contributions and reduction of possible duplications of service provision. <![CDATA[<b>Constraints hindering processors' effective access to training programmes on modern shea butter processing in Niger state, Nigeria</b>]]> This study examined the constraints hindering processors' effective access to training on modern shea butter processing in Niger State, Nigeria. Primary data were collected using a structured questionnaire administered to 108 processors selected through a multistage sampling technique. The data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics. Results revealed that all the processors were females, young and married with a household size of 5-9 and a low educational status. Results also revealed that the majority (67.6%) of the processors were not aware of training programmes, while 72% of them had not accessed training programmes. The results further revealed that non-awareness of training programmes (χ2 = 2.95), inadequate information on available training opportunities (χ2 = 2.90), inappropriate time for training (χ2 = 2.87), and illiteracy (χ2 = 2.36) were the major constraints hindering processors' effective access to training on modern shea butter processing. Creation of adequate awareness and dissemination of information by extension officers, extension agents and women in agriculture (WIA) officers on training programmes through the use of mass media, postal and leaflets in the study area is recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Beneficiaries' strategies for coping with extension challenges in poultry-based poverty alleviation projects in a rural local municipality of South Africa</b>]]> The advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994 necessitated socio-economic transformation for rural poverty reduction and development. Since then, all spheres of government, non-governmental organisations, the business sector and residents of rural areas have been introducing poultry-based poverty alleviation projects (PAPs). Despite the benefits that accrue from implementing poultry-based PAPs such as improved food security and job creation, there is a growing concern that the support from the government-led extension service is inadequate. Coping strategies, which PAPs rely on are not sustainable. Taking this issue into account, a study was carried out to identify and explain the institutional, production and marketing coping strategies that the poultry-based PAPs in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality of Mpumalanga Province adopted. Questionnaires were administered to 116 respondents comprising of chairpersons, secretaries, and ordinary members of PAPs. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 23.0 was used to compute the means of scores assigned to perceptions of institutional, production and marketing coping strategies of PAPs. The top ranked coping strategies were inadequate extension officers supporting the PAPs, procurement of stock in small quantities, buying water from people who owned boreholes, purchasing poor quality day-old chicks, relying on the local community as the market for produce, and selling broilers on credit. It was reconfirmed that inadequate extension support forced the PAPs to adopt various coping strategies. The need for more effective strategies that would enhance the sustainability of PAPs was highlighted. <![CDATA[<b>Extension officers' perception towards accreditation and regulation of extension services in North West Province, South Africa</b>]]> This paper examines extension officers' perception towards accreditation and regulation of extension services. This is based on the premise that a pluralistic extension service delivery currently prevails in South Africa where public and private service providers exist with differentials in quality of services to clients; which can be overcome through accreditation of providers from end-users' perspectives. Using a random sampling technique, 69 extension officers were sampled and a questionnaire was used to collect data, which was analysed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) using frequency counts, percentages and probit regression. Extension officers have high knowledge that accreditation aids periodic quality review (X = 1.81, SD = 0.49); improving quality of services (X = 3.91, SD = 1.26) and promotes accountability (X = 2.49, SD = 0.79). Significant determinants of the perception on accreditation are gender (t = 3.08; p < 0.05); marital status (t = -2.42; p < 0.05); number of children (t = 1.73; p < 0.05); household size (t =-2.03; p < 0.05); residence status (t = 1.78; p < 0.05); distance to clients (t =2.06; p < 0.05); and attitude to accreditation (t = 1.86; p < 0.05). <![CDATA[<b>Poultry farming: Lessening poverty in rural areas</b>]]> The main aim of this study was to try and establish if chicken farming could be utilised for alleviation of rural unemployment and poverty. The study examined the skills and knowledge through education that would be required for successful chicken farming. The population for the study were all experts in poultry industry. This population included established and emerging chicken farmers, government officials who are involved in chicken farming projects in rural areas, veterinarians specialising in poultry, and any other individuals with expert knowledge in chicken farming. The sample comprised of six individuals that included two large commercials farmers, one small holder farmer, two officials from the DTI and one wholesale meat supplier. A semi-structured, open-ended interview questionnaire was designed and used for interviewing purposes. Interviews permit triangulation of information obtained from other sources and thus increase the integrity of study findings. The findings of the study suggested that: Chicken farming could be used for alleviation of rural unemployment and poverty; Success of such projects depended on farmers receiving technical and financial support. hands-on training was considered the best form of training. <![CDATA[<b>Information needs of communal cattle farmers in conservation and transfrontier areas: Republic of South Africa</b>]]> The study investigated information needs of communal cattle farmers located on conservation and transfrontier areas in the Northern part of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. For triangulation of findings, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and 241 structured questionnaires were used. During focus group discussions, key findings showed that cattle management and handling as well as veterinary information are the most needed information by farmers from both study sites. Odds ratio estimates showed that older males (odds ratios 1.906 and 1.488) and literate farmers with tertiary education required more information on cattle management (odds ratio 5.878). Both study areas had common information needs on veterinary matters, conservation of cattle feeds, cattle management and handling as well as stock theft and depredation. This excludes alien invasive species which were reported to be a challenge by dominating communal grazing lands, hence reducing forage on conservation areas. A comprehensive action plan addressing information needs for cattle farmers located in the conservation and transfrontier areas by relevant stakeholders is crucial to minimise substantial economic losses caused by cattle diseases. <![CDATA[<b>A critical review of agricultural related construction project failures at the Department of Agricultural, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA): Mpumalanga</b>]]> The aim of the study was to determine the causes of construction project failures in the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA). A detailed literature review was carried out on construction projects that failed due to cost and time overruns. A list of construction project failure factors was identified and later categorised into contractor, client and owner-related causes. A five-point Likert scale was used to collect data from the contractors and owners and the same questionnaire was used to interview the clients or beneficiaries telephonically. The data were analysed using the Relative Importance Index (RII) and Correlation Testing. The key causes of construction project failure as per their rankings were poor communication, lack of monitoring and evaluation, lack of client or beneficiary involvement, lack of project planning, financial difficulties, poor project scheduling, incomplete project drawing, conflict, poor technical performance, and changing client requirements. The Spearman correlation concluded that relationships existed amongst the owner, client and contractor responses. From the results, the main recommendation is that all project planning, design and scheduling should be approved by the contractor, client and owner before construction commences. Secondly, all project stakeholders should be involved during the planning of projects to enhance project sustainability, and thirdly, projects should only commence when there is a guarantee that all plans, budgets and schedules are realistic, and funds are available for access. With regards to extension, the results indicate specific areas of stakeholder engagement prior and during construction to assist in managing expectations. <![CDATA[<b>Training needs assessment for transformation of smallholder livestock farming in Botswana</b>]]> The need to improve the competitiveness of smallholder livestock owners in Botswana was studied through Training Need Assessment (TNA) with the aim of strengthening the capacity of agricultural education and extension in the livestock sector. TNA was conducted in selected areas of Botswana namely, Mogobane, Boatle and Taung villages in the South-East District as well as Serowe, Bobonong, Nata and Letlhakane in the Central District of Botswana. A simple random sampling method was used to select 395 smallholder livestock farmers. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a questionnaire and focus group discussions respectively. Quantitative data was analysed using means (and standard deviations). The results from focus groups were based on the coding of themes that emerged from the discussions. The results show that smallholder livestock farmers were lacking knowledge and skill in some of the following topics: Farm records and accounts; artificial insemination; feeds and feeding which include nutritional diseases and range management. It is recommended that livestock marketing, which is an important component in livestock production, be integrated into all livestock extension training programmes. Furthermore, the inclusion of diagnosis of livestock diseases, vaccination and borehole maintenance is also recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Introduction of extensive cage culture systems for breeding of catfish (<i>clarius gariepinus</i>) and common carp (<i>cyprin carpionus) </i>at the aquaculture technology demonstration centre, Xhariep District: an agricultural extension perspective</b>]]> The Aquaculture Technology Demonstration Centre is aided by the Chinese government to enhance the development of aquaculture in South Africa, and thus provide agricultural extension services to farmers and fisheries. The approval of activities and site selection was endorsed by Chinese and South African representatives. The project is based at the Gariep dam in the Xhariep District. The centre primarily focuses on training, demonstration, and research. It is currently being operated by the Free State Department of Agriculture with support from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. At present, research is being conducted on the culturing of the following fish species, catfish, carp, goldfish, and koi. Tilapia will be introduced in the near future. The purpose of the research is to improve the livelihoods of poor communities, to commercialise small-scale farmers, and to exhilarate economic growth. In addition, the centre aims to support and encourage the use of affordable and natural resources, and to address several challenges including a lack of land, skill, sufficient production, as well as market and quality inputs. Therefore, the practice of fish breeding at the centre aims to deliver extension and advisory services to South African farmers and fisheries. Furthermore, the centre will aim to assist with the production of quality fish stock, to remedy breeding difficulties, and to address fish production shortfalls. <![CDATA[<b>An analysis of the indicators affecting urban household food insecurity in the informal settlement area of the Cape Town Metropole</b>]]> Households in the informal settlement areas of the Cape Town Metropole face different challenges in terms of poverty and food security. Challenges are determined by the social and economic circumstances these households subside in. Many initiatives by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was initiated to aid households in these areas. Some of the initiatives include the implementation of urban household and community food gardens assisted by the Department's extension division. A thorough analysis of these indicators is imperative to initiate development planning. The results showed that 26.1% of household heads completed school, while 33.8% did not reach secondary school (grade 7). The average household size is 4.29 persons in the study area. The average age of household head was 48 and 50.64 years for non-farmer groups and urban farming households respectively. The average monthly income per household was R3543.22. The main source of income generated throughout the year derived from formal salaries or wages (46.4%), while child support grants and pension funds also contributed towards income. Expenditure factors accounts for 20.4% of the variance of factors affecting food security. The expenditure component is comprised by the share of food expenditure on income, the total value of food consumed and the household diet diversity score. The socio-economic indicators component forms the second largest component group (15.15%), while the components with a lesser effect include a food security component, an urban farming component and a geographical and market component.