South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X
TERBLANCHE, S. E.. Agricultural extension training needs of the non-government advising sector in South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2013, vol.41, n.1, pp.94-106. ISSN 2413-3221.
Extension practitioners from the private sector are highly trained in the Natural Science. Some shortfalls in their Extension Science training have been identified. Perceived training needs in the Extension Science within this sector have been privatised. A number of possible training inputs and options are suggested. Options can be pursued by way of the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) models as already practiced by a number of Professions. Such investment can assist management with personnel evaluation. Credible and experienced seminar style (including capable retirees) would become involved in CPD programmes and as mentors within in-service training initiatives. The private sector is becoming increasingly involved in the upliftment of the emerging agricultural sector. Many emerging farmers are seen as the Commercial Gardens of the future and are being empowered by their Extensionists to fulfil such roles. The quality of the training cannot be compromised. Compromising education and training programmes is disadvantageous to the Extensionist but even more so to the disadvantage of the farming clientele. Only 16.3% of the practicing agricultural Extensionist lack sufficient training in the Natural Sciences to register with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). 43,5% of the field workers (80) are members of Learned Societies in the Natural Sciences, 12,5% are members of the South African Society for Agricultural Extension(SASAE) and only 6,3% are registered with SACNASP. Communication is considered as the most important Extension training module.
Keywords : Extension; training needs; Continuous Professional Development.