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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

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

Abstract

STEVENS, J. B. Is agricultural extension positioned to promote agripreneurship in South Africa?. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2017, vol.45, n.2, pp.86-94. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2017/v45n1a437.

A shift from agriculture to agribusiness is an essential pathway to revitalise small-scale agriculture in South Africa and to make it more attractive and a profitable venture. The question is whether small-scale farmers can become entrepreneurs and how well is extension positioned to support farmers to foster entrepreneurship? There are two parts to entrepreneurship, the first is the managerial skills required to start and run a profitable farm business. Second is the "entrepreneurial spirit". Important to realise is that you cannot create an entrepreneur, but you can create the environment that will help them thrive. Governments and donors must invest in institutions and infrastructure that support them. Economic policies and financial incentives must be put in place to inspire a generation of agripreneurs. This paper aims to emphasise the importance that farmers must be linked to markets to take advantage of the opportunities arising along the agribusiness value chain. Successful entrepreneurship requires a strong enabling environment of which political will and leadership is important, but also strong private interest. Extension has a critical role to play in supporting farmers to develop their entrepreneurial skills through training and by providing technical assistance.

Keywords : Agripreneurship; Entrepreneurs; Entrepreneurial skills; Enabling environment.

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