South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X
NDORO, J. T.; MUDHARA, M. and CHIMONYO, M.. Livestock extension programmes participation and impact on smallholder cattle productivity in KwaZulu-Natal: A propensity score matching approach. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2014, vol.42, n.2, pp.62-80. ISSN 2413-3221.
In rural South Africa, the sustainability of cattle-based livelihoods is threatened by the competition for natural resources such as land and water. The central and provincial governments continue to invest funds in agricultural extension in order to uplift the productivity and safeguard the multifunctionality of cattle farming. However, the design of effective and efficient livestock extension models remains a challenge. The objective of this study was to investigate the drivers and first-order impacts of participation in livestock extension programmes in the KwaZulu-Natal province. To that end, the study adopted the propensity score matching (PSM) method. Based on data from a survey of 230 smallholder farmers in 13 communities of the Okhahlamba Local Municipality, the results of the Probit model showed that the likelihood of participation in extension programmes decreases with education, and increases with group membership, distance from the extension office, adoption of mixed breed, herd size and usage of forage and feed supplements, suggesting a largely supply-driven extension approach. Based on the nearest neighbour and kernel matching algorithms, the results further showed that benefits accrued from participating in livestock extension programmes in terms of cattle production and input use were scant. The study concludes with some policy implications.
Keywords : Agricultural Extension; Cattle production; Impact evaluation; Propensity Score Matching; South Africa.