An overview of agricultural extension in South Africa

01 Apr 2014

The paper reflects on the diversity and the multitude of challenges mastered by agricultural extension in South Africa since its founding in 1925. The post-apartheid era (since 1994) saw drastic organizational and other changes. The present-day service is facing new professional challenges aimed at improving the delivery of service to a growing and technically more divergent farming community. The first 69 years of agricultural extension saw the establishment of a diversity of compartmentalized services: to the commercial (white) sector and to the black, Indian and Coloured communities. Agricultural co-operatives, community organizations and the private sector also rendered services. The South African Society for Agricultural Extension (SASAE) and tertiary training institutions in the agricultural as well as the agricultural extension disciplines were founded during these years. The post-apartheid era (since 1994) has raised questions concerning effective service delivery and professionalism. It would appear that dual-registration by extension practitioners with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) as well as the SASAE should enjoy popular support.