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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

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

Abstract

JACOBS, A. J.; VAN TOL, J. J.,  and  DU PREEZ, C. C. Farmers perceptions of precision agriculture and the role of agricultural extension: a case study of crop farming in the Schweizer-Reneke region, South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2018, vol.46, n.2, pp.107-118. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2018/v46n2a484.

The profit of crop production in South Africa is under pressure due to unreliable rainfall associated with climate change and severe competition in a highly subsidized global food market. Such constraints lead to food insecurity and could be dealt with by adopting inter alia precision agriculture. This study aimed to gain insights into crop farmers' perceptions of precision agriculture in the Schweizer-Reneke region. For this purpose, both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied by requesting 36 farmers to complete questionnaires; 18 who practice precision agriculture and 18 who do not. The results showed that economic considerations are the most important determinant whether precision agriculture is adopted or not by the crop farmers. Surprisingly, neither the age nor the education offarmers played a major role in the practicing or not of precision agriculture. Farmers who practice precision agriculture said that the most beneficial outcome is the costs saved through variable fertilizer application.

Keywords : Economic benefit; Fertilizer application; Food security; Management strategy; Sustainable agriculture.

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