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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.; CHAUKE, P. K; IGODAN, C.  and  AGUNGA, R.. A Bench Mark Survey for extension officers in three districts of Limpopo Province, South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2017, vol.45, n.2, pp.14-25. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2017/v45n2a397.

Extension services is one of the policy instruments which can be used to solve the food insecurity challenges. This understanding has led to a team of extension experts in agricultural extension to organise themselves under the name of Extension Africa. The team saw a need to conduct a benchmark study with the aim of unravelling circumstances facing agricultural extension in selected African countries such as Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. The members of Extension Africa were drawn from these countries. This study presents the situation of three districts in Limpopo Province of South Africa in which thirty extension officers were interviewed using a questionnaire. The findings suggest that there are gaps in the critical areas such as educational levels, job satisfaction, extension methods, communication, extension goal and training needs. It was further revealed that the female extension to male ratio is skewed although they are showing a reasonable level of marital status. The following areas of extension need attention to improve extension delivery: in-service training and Information Communication Technology (ICT). As far as job satisfaction is concerned, the main challenge is linked to salary. The study concludes with a recommendation targeting both the extension managers and policy makers who are encouraged to develop strategies to address the gaps identified by the study.

Keywords : Extension; Information Communication Technology; Extension methods Communication; Extension goals.

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