South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X
CAISTER, K. F.. "Learning to do, doing to live" transformational behaviour in commercializing traditional agriculture. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2012, vol.40, n.1, pp.25-35. ISSN 2413-3221.
A fundamental question being addressed by agricultural extension in South Africa is the role of agricultural extension within rural development. Scientists are being challenged to re-consider that their role in technology development is through innovation and a complex process involving a reorganization of social relationships not just technical practice. In this context, technology shifts from something to be applied to something leveraged for networking and organizing. To ensure the future, the idea of sustainability as a dynamic process rather than an endpoint offers a route for understanding and engagement between research, policy and personal spheres. For both research and extension agendas; in considering traditional agriculture in the context of economic development we have to create the capacity to co-operate in a way that opens up the possibility of social change; a way of interacting that preserves and creates new forms of social cohesion. Including the non-material contributions of local wisdom being partnered by science allows for a new phase of leadership in developing rural economies. Agricultural extension supported by participatory research and development, is critically positioned for taking on this leadership role. The reflections in this paper are drawn from the author's PhD research (2006-2010) relying on Grounded Theory as a theoretical tap-root for interpreting decision making processes in the commercialisation of homestead agriculture with farmers from the Ezemvelo Farmers Association, Umbumbulu, KwaZulu-Natal.
Keywords : Participatory Extension; Grounded Theory; Social Agronomy.