South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X
ABDU-RAHEEM, K. A. and WORTH, S. H.. Food security and biodiversity conservation in the context of sustainable agriculture: the role of agricultural extension. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2013, vol.41, n.1, pp.01-17. ISSN 2413-3221.
Accomplishing household food security simultaneously with biodiversity conservation, particularly on communal farm lands, constitutes a great challenge in South Africa. This is because biodiversity species are being threatened on lands wherein agricultural production is done in the name of securing food availability. The general threats to biodiversity are in the forms of deforestation and habitat fragmentation, encroachment, pollution, invasion of alien species, wild fires, logging, and hunting. Over time, agriculture emerges the greatest threat to biodiversity. Using this framework, this paper presents a scientific argument, backed with empirical evidences, by exploring the role that agricultural extension can play to realise the goals of biodiversity conservation on South African communal and farm lands. Drawing on relevant published works, this paper argues that extension is particularly well positioned to address both food security and biodiversity conservation concerns through the instruments of linkages, local knowledge facilitation, social capital and education.
Keywords : Agricultural extension; Biodiversity conservation; Food security; Sustainable agriculture.