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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X

Abstract

NGAKA, M. J.  and  ZWANE, E. M. The role of learning networks in agricultural extension service delivery: a survey in the nine provinces of South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2017, vol.45, n.2, pp.26-37. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2017/v45n2a398.

This paper seeks to present the findings of a study based on learning networks conducted in nine provinces of South Africa during 2013. The aim of the study was to establish to what extent this tool is known or used in the provinces of South Africa. The information was important in order to assist decision makers in future planning to strengthen extension and advisory services. Both qualitative and quantitative paradigm were used to investigate the perceptions of the extensionists with regards to networks, the size of such networks in South Africa, and whether they are known or used by the extension advisors. The quota system was used to extract 10% from the total population of 3 368 which resulted in a sample of 315 extensionists. Data were collected through 315 questionnaires which were later captured and processed through SPSS, version 21. The results showed that: 34% of the respondents were above 20 years of work experience, 56 % were males who dominated the services, and 48 % of respondents were advisors as opposed to other professionals. Northern Cape was the only province which had the majority of advisors that show awareness and used Learning Networks. The study concludes by indicating positive aspects of personal learning networks such as a need for proper guidance and to increase the use of it due to its inherent potential in order to improve service delivery in future.

Keywords : Learning networks; Service delivery; Agricultural extension.

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