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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

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

Abstract

SEBEHO, M. A.  and  STEVENS, J. B.. An overview of perceptions and attitudes towards extension service delivery in Fezile Dabi District, Free State Province. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2019, vol.47, n.1, pp.61-72. ISSN 2413-3221.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2019/v47n1a490.

Agricultural extension plays a pivotal role in developing countries and is responsible for promoting and supporting farmers to ensure sustainable agricultural growth and access to key means of production. However, research shows that agricultural extension services have not been performing well, and in most cases is invisible and limited. This research reflects the effectiveness of agricultural extension service delivery as perceived by extension advisors and farmers in the Fezile Dabi District of the Free State Province of South Africa. The findings reflect the perceptions and opinions of 200 smallholder farmers and 15 extension advisors from the Fezile Dabi District in the Free State Province. The majority off armers perceive extension advisors as a very important source of information and support. Although there are many agricultural development programmes rolled out in the province, only 20% of the respondents are participating in these programmes because of limited funding and biased behaviour shown towards some elites. Extension advisors in general are of the opinion that they have the necessary competencies and skills to be good agriculturalists. Some of the key recommendations to policy makers are that the funding system for agricultural projects and programmes should be revised and that partnerships between public and private enterprises should be embraced where possible to enhance support to small scale farmers in the district.

Keywords : Agricultural extension service; competency; perceptions; smallholder farmers.

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