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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X

Abstract

ZWANE, E. M.. Does extension have a role to play in rural development?. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2012, vol.40, n.1, pp.16-24. ISSN 2413-3221.

This paper seeks to justify that extension has a role to play in rural development. The author has adopted a desktop study in which literature was reviewed and synthesized in order to establish facts about rural development and extension. The author discusses the meanings of agricultural extension and rural development. He locates the place of extension in rural development where it can make its contribution. Furthermore he identifies five specific factors that are central to extension in rural development. Some of the factors include: food security, conservation of natural resources, dissemination of useful information, sustainability of projects, and empowerment of farming groups. The paper concludes by suggesting some recommendations on how extension can better be utilized in order to achieve sustained results in rural development. The recommended factors include: establishment of rural development Centres, developing farmer leadership, establishment of agricultural development teams, collaborating with other role players and developing a new extension agenda. The recommendations are broad and further research is recommended to specifically look into other factors that may have a serious impact in farmer's lives such as sustainability, increasing farmer income and positive perceptions.

Keywords : Rural development; Extension.

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