Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Agricultural Extension ]]> vol. 47 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Factors Affecting Small-scale Sugarcane Production In Nkomazi Local Municipality In Mpumalanga Province, South Africa</b>]]> As the South African government forges ahead with its plans for land redistribution, there have been questions raised aroundfactors that currently affect smallholder farmers' productivity as a means ofpreparing for the perceived future increase in farmer numbers. Answering these questions is criticalfor the sugarcane industry that holds a strategic value in South Africa. The present study uses Nkomazi Local Municipality, a prominent sugarcane production area, as a case study to answer some of these questions. The yield and socio-economic characteristics of 127 small-scale sugarcane farmers from the area were collected during one-on-one interviews and the former variable regressed against the later using the Cobb-Douglas production function. The average farmer in the sample produced 201 tonnes of sugarcane, on six hectares of land, applied 13.4 kg offertilizer per hectare and employed seven labourers. The results of the regression analysis revealed the age of the farmer, farm size, fertilizer quantity, Land Bank's credit provision, the use of sprinkler irrigation, and land ownership significantly affected the yield of respondents. In light of the findings, the study recommends that efforts be increased to provide the production inputs fertilizer and land), affordable credit, and advanced and affordable technological inputs as these were found to increase output. Furthermore, the study recommends that farmers' access to credit be increased in order to increase their agricultural output. <![CDATA[<b>Extension: To Serve And Protect - How To Achieve Sustainable Rural Development</b>]]> The dearth of success stories around extension projects implemented across South Africa (and Sub-Saharan Africa), even after substantial investment and effort, begs the question: more extension, less adoption, why? What is the role of extension in contributing to rural upliftment, the development of successful farmers, supporting stable protected natural environments and facilitating sustainable economic returns from agriculture? This paper examines the before and after effects of coordinated extension with clear targets, activities and skills development that is aimed at achieving significant rural development for a KwaZulu-Natal community. The purpose is to compare a period of 10 years of uncoordinated extension services with the following 10 years using a targeted structured extension methodology with set measurable outputs, implemented in the same community. Ten years of data in a community which received uncoordinated extension with little support from outside organisations were compared to the results of the following ten years after the implementation of a new, structured extension approach. Extension officers were upskilled, monitored and evaluated on their impact on the development of agriculture and the improvement of livelihoods in the community. There were 224 growers delivering 16 456 tons of sugarcane in 2004. The growth in the agricultural sector over the past decade was compared to the previous ten years and comparisons made for a number of variables which were indicative of the success of the project in terms of adoption, increased agricultural participation and improved production systems. In 2018, there were 704 growers delivering 50 300 tons of sugarcane. The rate and scale of adoption, and increased community confidence in agriculture as a livelihood, is clearly evident in the increased number ofgrowers from 419 in 2013 to 704 in 2018. An extension impact monitoring system and annual work plan was also developed to assist extension officers and their managers to have a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, as well as being utilised to measure the impact of the extension officers in the area. The agricultural system has become a self-perpetuating one that demonstrates the enormous social, developmental and economic benefits of a sustainable agricultural community. <![CDATA[<b>Benefits And Challenges Of Maguga Dam Resettletment Scheme To Displaced People In Hhohho Region Of Eswatini</b>]]> Land development features land redistribution, construction of dams, land resettlement of displaced persons, as well as improvement of land fertility status through measures such as planting of grasses, herbs and trees. These features often result in benefits and encounter challenges. The purpose of this study was to identify the benefits derived from, and challenges encountered in the Maguga Dam resettlement scheme in Hhohho Region of Eswatini. Out of the 66family members who were relocated, 58 took part in the study by providing data through interviews conducted using an interview schedule. A six-point Likert-type scale was used to measure the benefits, challenges and attitudes of the people to the new place of settlement. The benefits derived from the resettlement scheme included assistance in building new houses (100%) and provision offertile land (100%). Over 90% benefitted from increased visits by extension agents, and formation of associations. The majority of the respondents (86.2%) indicated that compensation was adequate. Some challenges faced by most of the displaced people were poor water supply (91.4%), inadequate crop storage facilities (96.6%), inadequate farm inputs (94.8%), theft (98.3%), crop pests (96.6%), and transport facilities (100%). The majority (80.54%) had positive attitudes towards the new place of settlement. Some socio-economic characteristics had moderate and low associations with benefits derived from the resettlement scheme. In conclusion, many benefits and few challenges were experienced in the resettlement scheme. It was recommended that extension agents should intensify their contact with farmers to remove farming challenges such as inadequate farm inputs, storage facilities and access to markets. <![CDATA[<b>Factors Influencing Land Reform Beneficiaries' Willingness To Pay For Extension Services In Eastern Cape And Kwazulu-natal, South Africa</b>]]> The study investigated the factors influencing land reform beneficiaries' willingness to pay for extension services. Furthermore, the study determined the extension services for which farmers were willing to pay, and the cost. The study was conducted in seven districts in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Research activities included a formal survey conducted on a sample of 111 farmers using simple random sampling. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire through interviews and using a semi-structured interview guide for focus group discussions. The study employed Chi-square and T-test analyses to determine the relationship between the socio-economic characteristics of the farmers and their willingness to pay for extension services. The main findings were that 64% of land reform beneficiaries were in favour of privatisation of extension services. Furthermore, 98% of these farmers said they were willing to pay for extension services and indicated the price and type of services preferred. From the results of the probit regression analysis, it was seen thatfarmers who were likely to pay are those who are younger, with larger land sizes, and who have access to extension services. The study concluded that farmers were in favour ofprivatisation and were willing to pay for extension services, as they felt this would improve their farm returns. <![CDATA[<b>Agricultural Production Inputs Support Programme As A Socioeconomic Development Strategy</b>]]> This paper presents the impact of the Agricultural Production Inputs Support Programme on crop yield, and reflects challenges and opportunities for improving agricultural production to ensure socio-economic development and sustainability. Policy-makers assume that farmers who receive subsidised agricultural inputs produce high yields, generate income to sustain production, and reduce poverty. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data from horticultural crop farmers who received agricultural production inputs from the provincial agricultural department during the 2014/15 season in Mopani District. Findings indicate no significant linear relationship between agricultural production inputs received and crop yield. In addition, there was no significant linear relationship between agricultural production practices and horticultural crop yield. However, the study observed that production practices such as soil testing for nutrient content, fertilisation, irrigation scheduling, use of hybrid seeds, and nursery propagated seedlings are critical for farmers to experience high crop yield. This highlights the importance and need to strengthen extension services to improve production practices. It is therefore concluded that provision of production inputs is a necessary strategy to ensure improved agricultural production. This study thus recommends a careful selection of recipients with skills to farm, sound farming experience, improved level of education, and capacity building of the farmers. <![CDATA[<b>Assessing Socio-economic Factors Influencing Wool Production In Kolomana Villages Of Eastern Cape, South Africa</b>]]> Despite considerable investment by government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support wool production amongst farmers in parts of the Eastern Cape Province, the subsector continues to feature low production and productivity while the small-scale farmers continue to wallow in poverty. There is therefore genuine interest to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons for this situation and identify elements for a strategy to remedy the situation. This study looks specifically at socio-economic constraints/ factors affecting wool production in the rural Kolomana area. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic parameters and socio-economic factors affecting wool production in Kolomana villages of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. Descriptive statistics were generated using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 20). Observed major infrastructural constraints to sheep farmers in Kolomana were shortage of shearing sheds, dip tanks, fences and re-fencing of camps and technical resources such as availability of animal health technicians. A linear regression model was used to test how independent variables relate or affect the dependent variables, which were defined in value and quantitative terms. Age of the household head, marital status of household head, number of sheep owned by households, division of rangeland into camps, state of fencing on rangeland, visits by animal health technicians, and availability of colostrum to lambs were found to be influential. Without doubt, removing constraints faced by rural wool sheep farmers and implementing correct managerial practices when necessary could improve efficiency in wool production for the rural poor. Thus, the study seeks to acknowledge different practices that rural farmers employ in sheep production, which includes but is not limited to indigenous knowledge used to enhance maximum wool production. <![CDATA[<b>Comparative Studies On Yield And Quality Response Of Soil And Soilless Grown Tomatoes: The Case Study Of Masiphathisane Community Project And Bathurst Experimental Farm</b>]]> Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L) belongs to the Solanaceae family and is grown worldwide for its edible fruits with antioxidant benefits. A study was conducted in Bathurst Experimental Farm and Masiphathisane Community Project to compare yield and quality of tomato cultivars cultivated with an open bag hydroponic (soilless) system and in-soil system respectively both under a semi-controlled environment. Three tomato cultivars under soilless system, namely Mercury, Merya and Star 9037, and one cultivar, SV4129, in-soil system were used. Marketable and unmarketable yield, total soluble solids (%Brix), as well as the pH of the tomato juice were determined. Results showed that plants in the soilless system developed faster with higher total yield compared with in-soil cultivation. Cultivars Mercury and Merya can be selected and recommended for high yields and high sugar content in %Brix respectively in soilless production. The pH of tomato juice was highest in all cultivars under soilless and the lowest was recorded in-soil production systems. The most promising cultivar with regards to yield and quality under soilless production was Mercury. Results indicate that soilless cultivation can improve yield and quality, with cultivar selection playing an important role when utilising this production system. <![CDATA[<b>Competency Needs Of Extension Agents On Value Added Fish Production: Evidence From Kwara State, Nigeria</b>]]> The need to develop the technical expertise and skills of extension agents on value added fish production in order to ensure that they are properly equipped to meet the changing needs of their clientele led to this study. The paper analysed the competency needs of extension agents on value addedfish production in Kwara State, Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from the total population (total population sampling) of extension agents in Kwara State Agricultural Development Programme (KWADP) due to the relatively small number of extension agents in the organisation. The results showed that the extension agents had a mean age of 40.3 years. The majority of the respondents (72.3%) were male, married (88.2%), with an average household size offive persons. Most of the extension agents (75.6%) had ordinary National Diploma certificates and above in their level of education with an average of eight years' experience in the extension profession. Competency upgrade (training) was needed in 10 areas of value added fish production skills and knowledge and the respondents highlighted seven severe constraints militating against their acquisition of needed competencies in value added fish production. Chi-square analysis revealed that respondents' areas of competency needs in value addedfish production were influenced by their age, gender, level of education, and years of experience. The study acknowledges that there is a need for the KWADP to develop robust training programmes for extension agents on value added fish production skills in order to enhance their competence in rendering information and advisory services to farmers for a more profitable regime for fish farmers in the study area. <![CDATA[<b>Assessing The Adoption Of Macro Propagation Technology (MPT) Among Plantain And Banana Farmers In Ondo State, Nigeria</b>]]> Despite efforts made on plantain and banana by agricultural research institutes, its production has not been remarkable. However, the potential of plantain and banana depends on the full utilisation of macro propagation technology which was introduced to the farmers. This study therefore assesses the socio-economics characteristics of plantain and banana farmers, as well as their attitude and adoption level in order to identify the factors responsible for adoption and to highlight the constraints to adoption of macro propagation technology in Ondo State, Nigeria. A sample of 120 respondents was randomly selected from the list of trained farmers. Data were collected by means of interviews using a structured questionnaire and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Result show a mean age of 48.12 years, which does not encourage adoption, as well as a neutral attitude of farmers towards the technology (mean=2.98) and a low adoption level (mean=2.86). Furthermore, it was revealed that insufficient finances (51.7%), inadequate technical know-how (51.7%), and high cost of inputs (46.7%) were severe constraints to adoption of macro propagation technology. The study found that educational status (p<0.05), farm size (p<0.05), income (p<0.05), and market link (p<0.01) were positively significant with adoption of the technology and therefore concludes that educational level, income, farm size and market link are responsible for the adoption of macro propagation technology in Ondo State. Thus, the study recommends that more training be put into practice which takes into consideration the factors responsible for adoption. It is also important to incorporate youths into the training, and there should be proper monitoring after the training to ensure full adoption of macro propagation technology. <![CDATA[<b>Participation Of Smallholder Farmers In Agro-processing Industries: Implications For The Extension Services Of Gauteng Province</b>]]> The study aimed to evaluate the levels of participation of smallholder farmers in the agro-processing industries of Gauteng Province. The main objective was to determine the implications of participation or lack thereoffor the extension services, using an exploratory mixed sequential design. Four focus group sessions were conducted to account for qualitative data collection, and the survey data was gathered from three regions of Gauteng Province (West Rand, Pretoria, and Germiston). A sample of smallholder farmers (n=78) was purposively selected across the three regions to select participants. The results revealed that factors such as institutional design, condition of participation, and collaboration were critical in influencing these farmers. However, the results also revealed that leadership did not affect either of the levels of participation of these farmers. Therefore, these results suggest that the level ofparticipation in smallholder farming could be improved, should the influential factors be taken into consideration during the development planning of these farmers. It is recommended that strategic plans formulated by the supporting institutions consider these influential factors as the tools for the transformation of the agro-processing industries. These factors could stimulate participation by smallholder farmers in this sector. <![CDATA[<b>Farming Households' Livelihood Strategies In Ndabakazi Villages, Eastern Cape: What Are The Implications To Extension Services?</b>]]> Using a retrospective and circumspective approach, this paper looks at how livelihood strategies have changed during pre and post-democratic eras in rural former Transkei of the Eastern Cape, and identifies present livelihood strategies in Ndabakazi. The focus of the research was Ndabakazi, a cluster of rural villages in the former Transkei. A survey of 80 household heads was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires, complemented by focus group discussions. The findings show that farming and wage labour have been declining over time as major sources of income, while social grants have become increasingly important. Field crop cultivation has been completely abandoned and garden cultivation is declining. The overall findings show that livelihood strategies have continued to change from land based livelihoods to non-farm and later non-labour. The paper argues the importance of understanding a farm household in the perspective of household economics theory and to incorporate the diverse portfolio of livelihood strategies in farming households into the extension advisory service in order to render relevant and appropriate service. <![CDATA[<b>Profiling Potential Land Redistribution Beneficiaries In South Africa: Implications For Agricultural Extension And Policy Design</b>]]> There is a general agreement that land reform has fallen short in achieving its intended objectives. One of the most commonly cited reasons for the slow progress in the land redistribution programme is lack of clear criteria in beneficiary selection. The State Land Lease and Disposal Policy, which is one of the current land redistribution policies, has identified commercial-oriented smallholders in the communal land as one of the land redistribution beneficiaries. However, there is little detailed empirical evidence on their constituents. Such information is crucialfor policy-makers including the agricultural extension personnel, as this will enhance effective policy design and appropriate design of extension advisory service which will contribute to the success of land redistribution. The objective of this article is to fill this gap by profiling commercial-oriented small-scale farmers in three provinces that have the highest number of smallholders in South Africa. A survey of 833 farmers from these three provinces was conducted. Descriptive statistics and Binary Logistic Regression were used to analyse the data with the use of STATA software. The results show that a potential emerging farmer is a 55 years old male with primary education. Furthermore, 57% of the farmers are willing to relocate to commercial farms if there is government support and require an average farm of 152 hectares where they want to plant maize. The article concludes with some recommendations and implications for agricultural extension. <![CDATA[<b>Extension Officers' Perceptions Of Extension And Innovation In South Africa</b>]]> Extension is evolving, and extension workers' roles and attitudes are changing with global realities. The purpose of this study was to examine South African extension officers' perceptions of their job, views on the objectives of extension, and conception of agriculture. A questionnaire was developed consisting of general demographic and Likert-scale questions regarding perceptions of extension. The survey was emailed to all South African based members of the South African Society for Agricultural Extension (SASAE). The study found that most extensionists considered extension as a professional or technical practice to improve farmer practices followed by those who consider it as "helping farmers" to improve their well-being. The most preferred methods and the area of actual practice were first group and second individual approaches. According to the respondents, productive modernisation aimed at productivity and profitability was the highest extension objective, followed by increasing farmers' knowledge through training. In addition, results provide evidence that extension institutions tend to support conventional agriculture, while extension workers are more concerned with potential negative impacts. Finally, the Likert-scale responses show that while much South African extension work is based on dialogue and horizontal coordination using a participatory approach, transfer of technology still exists, and farmers are blamed for their problems.