South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
Print version ISSN 0301-603X
VAN NIEKERK, J. A. et al. Towards redesigning the agricultural extension service in South Africa: views and proposals of smallholder farmers in the Eastern Cape. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2011, vol.39, n.2, pp. 47-56. ISSN 0301-603X.
The public extension service in the Eastern Cape Province is in vital need of revitalization if it is to transform the unproductive smallholder-agriculture sector into a more commercially-orientated sector. The research used a Logical Framework Analysis (LFA) enquiry to determine the problems smallholder farmers face as well as the causes and effects of their problems. The research participants stated that the main problem was ineffective farmer development. This was caused by, among others, poor farming systems and, lack of training, finances and support. This led to, among others, dependency, crime, unemployment and poverty. The participants said that they would like to become commercially productive. This would require, among others, access to training, finances and support, and improved farming systems. This would lead to reductions in crime, unemployment and poverty as well as them becoming independent and productive farmers. The smallholder farmers would not be able to solve these problems on their own, even with the help of an extensionist. These problems require input from multiple role players of the agricultural environment, as they need to be addressed from within a systems context. A platform would need to be created where all of the role players can interact in finding solutions.
Keywords : Participatory rural appraisal; logical framework analysis; problem solving.