Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 46 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Effects of relative humidity and temperature on small scale peach fruit drying using a tunnel solar dryer: A case study of peach fruit produced by small scale farmers in the Midlands of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa</b>]]> The study investigated the relationships between tunnel and ambient temperature and relative humidity (RH) and their effects on the performance of a tunnel solar dryer tested by drying peach slices. The temperature and RH showed an inverse proportion because if the ambient temperature increased, both the tunnel and ambient RH dropped. There was a direct proportion between the increasing ambient temperature and increased tunnel temperature. The use of treatment such as ascorbic acid or lemon juice did not have a significant effect on the overall drying between the yellow and white landraces. Ascorbic acid had a tendency to perform better than lemon juice which was also better than the untreated slices in terms of the taste and overall acceptability of the dried products. White peach slices were of better quality than yellow slices. It was concluded that solar drying is possible in the Midlands region. Extension officers and researchers can work hand in hand in partnerships with communities in implementing old and cheap but ignored technologies such as this method of food drying. <![CDATA[<b>Location and distance of farmers to agricultural extension service: implication for agricultural development in Oyo State, Nigeria</b>]]> The study investigated the location and distance covered by farmers to agricultural extension service/unit among farmers in Oyo state. Furthermore, it tried to look at the implication on farmers' agricultural production. A multistage random sampling procedure was used to select 320 farmers from four agricultural zones (Ibadan/Ibarapa, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Saki) of Oyo State Agricultural Development programme (OYSADEP). Farmers were selected from 8 local government areas and from 124 villages. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the results from the study. Findings revealed that agricultural extension agents were within the reach of farmers as 79.1% of the farmers indicated that agricultural extension agents were the major source of agricultural information and also provided advisory service (77.8%). The mean distance covered by farmers to extension units was 17.8km but bad road network (77.5%) and low extension-farmer ratio (64.1%) were some of the major constraints identified by farmers as affecting extension service delivery. Regression analysis between distance of farmers to extension and other production incentives show a positive relationship (p<0.00) on income alone. Therefore, it is recommended that the government improve road conditions and also invest funds to support the Agricultural development Programme (ADP) system. <![CDATA[<b>Proposed framework to improve the coordination of and to strengthen agricultural support services linkages in the Oshikoto Region in Namibia</b>]]> This study was part of a broader study that developed a frameworkfor improving coordination in the provision of Agricultural Support Services (ASS) to farmers in the Oshikoto region, Namibia. This part of the study determined coordination linkages among various stakeholders of ASS in the region, and the study revealed weak linkages among ASS providers, although a significant eagerness for them to work together was identified and great emphasis was placed on collaborative work plans and budgeting that needs to be in place for them to work together. The input from the stakeholders on various ASS led to the suggestedframework to improve the coordination of and to strengthen ASS linkages in the Oshikoto region. The suggested framework emphasises the importance of a bottom-up approach and that all ASS providers, as well as farmers, must be represented at all decentralised structures. It is essential for Agricultural Extension Specialists (AESs) to be represented at all the levels, as well as for Subject Matter Specialists (SMSs) to give constant advice to the headmen and councillors in the region. For this framework to be successful, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and professional bodies should be in place, as well as financial investment and continuous monitoring and evaluation (M & E). <![CDATA[<b>Processors preference and effectiveness of extension teaching methods used by Raw Material Research Development Council for dissemination of shea butter processing technologies in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State Nigeria</b>]]> This study assessed shea butter processors preference and effectiveness of extension teaching methods used by Raw Material Research Development Council (RMRDC) for dissemination of improved processing technologies in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara state, Nigeria. Data were collected from 74 respondents selected through snow-ball sampling technique with a structured interview schedule and analysed using frequency count, percentages and means. The results show that all the processors were females between the ages of 31 and 50 years. About 70.3% of them were married whilst 52.7% had no formal education. Many of the processors had more than 11 years of experience in shea butter processing and were capable of making between N6,000 to N15,000 per month from sales of shea butter. The results also show that only group contact method was used for dissemination of improved processing technologies while group discussion was perceived to be very effective in acquiring skills hence it's most preferred by the processors compared to other group teaching methods. It is therefore, suggested that individual and mass media contact methods be used along with the group contact method in teaching processors, as this will have the advantages of reaching different age and social groups, a situation that will make all groups access improved shea butter processing technologies. <![CDATA[<b>Storage practices and their bearing on smallholder farmers: Postharvest analysis in Uganda</b>]]> The aim of this study was to describe smallholder farmers' perception of household maize storage. Household storage plays a crucial role in supplying maize between seasons. Despite their continued usage, they are not safe enough and cause high losses to smallholder maize farmers, thus forcing them to sell immediately after harvest. Consequently, they have to buy maize at higher prices for household use. The description of the different storage types used by smallholder maize farmers and their perception of using household storage as a strategy to increase their earning was done qualitatively. Through focus group discussions (FGDs), data was gathered from nine focus groups from 108 respondents in eastern Uganda. The results show that smallholder maize farmers use eight different storage types acquired either through purchase, construction or contribution. Some storage types were specific to certain districts. The cost of acquiring the storage type varied according to the type, size and location. Farmers used these storage types due to accessibility, flexibility, affordability, and ancestral attachment. Finally, the study concludes that the farmers' perception of using storage for business was positive. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of the management practices of emerging sheep production systems in the Eastern Free State: can the extensionist make a difference?</b>]]> The aim of the study was to investigate factors that may prevent small-scale farmers from succeeding. Poor sheep production is generally associated with the ineffective management of these production systems. It would therefore be valuable to assess small-scale farmers' management of sheep production systems to investigate what causes the high rate of morbidity and mortality as well as increased costs of maintenance associated with ineffective sheep production systems. The management practices followed in the production of sheep, including reproduction, nutrition, and health management; the management of farming equipment; and marketing strategies were also investigated. Structured questionnaires were used to gather the required data from small-scale farmers in the Eastern Free State, South Africa. The questionnaire was designed to include both open and closed-ended questions and was administered through personal interviews. A total of 40 small-scale farmers participated in the study. The results revealed that the specific limiting factors that small-scale farmers face are poor animal health management skills, poor animal nutritional management, and inadequate support services from the government and other related stakeholders. Furthermore, insufficient land availability to expand production, inadequate agricultural farming equipment, a lack of reproduction and production management skills, and poor marketing skills were the most obvious challenges. Finally, the results from the study highlighted that agricultural extensionists have a crucial role to play in improving the sheep production systems of small-scale farmers as they are well positioned to render training and advisory services. If the Department of Agriculture (DoA) joins forces with agricultural institutions like the Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO), the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA), and breeders' societies, this objective will be achieved. <![CDATA[<b>Identification of factors that influence the performance of extension management systems in Kweneng and Southern Districts of Botswana</b>]]> Since 1999, the government of Botswana has implemented the Performance Management System (PMS) as a public service reform tool for all the ministries with the aim to improve and monitor performance of the public service including public extension. The general objective of the study was to identify factors that influence PMS in extension service delivery as perceived by the extension officers, supervisors, performance improvement coordinators, and the strategic office of the Ministry of Agriculture. Questionnaires were administered to the respondents in the Kweneng and Southern Districts of Botswana. The results revealed various factors that lead to failure of the PMS which include the use of a blueprint approach to implement the system, inadequate resources, and unfairness in individual performance appraisal. Therefore, rethinking the ministry structure and culture is recommended. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of factors influencing farmers' participation in the comprehensive agricultural support programme in Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa</b>]]> The paper investigated farmers' participation in public extension service delivery in relation to selected farmer and farm-related variables. By means of a cross-sectional survey, semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect data from extension support recipients within the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) between November 2014 and January 2015. Findings show that all respondents attended training sessions organised by local extension agents and were satisfied with the training. Another major finding was that the farmer and farm-related variables appear to be situation-specific regarding farmers' participation in public extension service delivery. Specifically, the findings showed no significant relationships between CASP enterprise type, farm distance from local extension office, farming type, and number of extension visits received. Similarly, satisfaction with CASP-Extension training received did not significantly differ between maize and non-maize producers. The findings are, however, of practical significance to extension programme managers in the Tshwane municipality that farmers, whether individuals or groups, far or near the local extension office receive farm visits, that irrespective of the crop farmers are cultivating, all producers are satisfied with the content of training programmes provided. It is recommended that extension practioners should, however, analyse their local situations for programme participation factors to enhance participation effectiveness. <![CDATA[<b>The level of household food security of urban farming and non-farming households in the informal settlement area of the Cape Town Metropole in South Africa</b>]]> Different food security (FS) indicators were used to determine the level of FS on all dimensions of FS in the informal settlement areas of the Western Cape Metropole in South Africa. With regards to food access, 78% of households are severely food insecure, while just more than 50% of households earn more than the US$ 2 per capita per day food poverty line and with 21% of the households that fall below the critical point of US$ 1.25 per capita per day. The average total household expenditure on food is R338.26, whereto the share of income spent is an average of 52.5% of household income. Households experience 4.3 hungry months during a year, meaning challenges are experienced concerning food availability. The household diet diversity score (HDDS) was used to measure utilisation and it was found that 10.4 out of 18 different food groups/categories were consumed. Most significant differences can be seen for FS indicators between areas, but no significant differences were measured between farming and non-farming households. This means that households involved in farming are not more food secure than those not involved in farming. Bonteheuwel and Kraaifontein were the two areas most severely affected by food insecurity according to Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), Household Diet Diversity Score (HDDS) as well as Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) and the food poverty measures. Gugulethu and Khayelitsha on the other hand seem to be the most food secure of all these areas. <![CDATA[<b>Farmers perceptions of precision agriculture and the role of agricultural extension</b><b>: </b><b>a case study of crop farming in the Schweizer-Reneke region, South Africa</b>]]> The profit of crop production in South Africa is under pressure due to unreliable rainfall associated with climate change and severe competition in a highly subsidized global food market. Such constraints lead to food insecurity and could be dealt with by adopting inter alia precision agriculture. This study aimed to gain insights into crop farmers' perceptions of precision agriculture in the Schweizer-Reneke region. For this purpose, both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied by requesting 36 farmers to complete questionnaires; 18 who practice precision agriculture and 18 who do not. The results showed that economic considerations are the most important determinant whether precision agriculture is adopted or not by the crop farmers. Surprisingly, neither the age nor the education offarmers played a major role in the practicing or not of precision agriculture. Farmers who practice precision agriculture said that the most beneficial outcome is the costs saved through variable fertilizer application.