National Extension Policy
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Towards sustainable agricultural systems The Green Choice Alliance Living Farms Reference and M&E Framework
Farayi Madziwa of Conservation South Africa writes about an incklusive M&E framework for sustainable agriculture
Policy update Finalising a draft extension policy
Setting out the steps before a draft policy is gazetted released for public comment.
Abalimi Bezekhaya support small scale organic growers Extension Opinion No.25: Grow the organic small farming movement
Rob Small of the Farm and Garden Trust highlights the low cost of citizen extension support and critiques state fixation on GMO and hydroponic agriculture.
The view from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture Extension Opinion No.24: Views from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture
Adriaan Conradie, Faan Mathee and Jan Theron reflect on agricultural policy and the ways forward for extension
Siyazondla member Nongenile Gongqose at work in her homestead garden Extension Opinion No.23: Promoting self organisation and building on local initiative
Derick Fay, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside has conducted research on land and livelihoods in the Eastern Cape. He highlights lessons from the Siyazondla programme.
Extension Opinion No. 22: Institutional dimensions of extension policy
Bonginkosi Zondo, senior Agricultural Advisor in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture examines institutional dimensions of extension policy - form, staffing, funding and stability
Farmer led animal health and livestock support services get results Extension Opinion No. 21: Supporting farmer driven livestock extension services in Communal Areas
Jack Blaker and Lyle Kew of Mngcunube Development present evidence that training and supporting local livestock owners to sell and dispense basic animal health medicines gets economic results.
Dr Sheona Shackleton: Department of Environmental Science, Rhodes University Extension Opinion No. 20: Ten ideas to make extension more effective
Dr Sheona Shackleton and Nic Hamer, the co-ordinator the Jongaphambili Sinethemba Project run through the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University make practical suggestions to reorient extension.
African Farmers Association of South Africa Extension Opinion No.19: Many smallholder farmers excluded from farmer support and development programmes
Ivan Cloete, Western Cape Provincial President of AFASA argues that new policy must recognise the many black smallholders operating in conditions of insecure tenure on State owned land.
Organic agriculture: The face of the future? Extension Opinion No: 18: The future is in managing bio systems
Hans Klink who is active in the South African organic sector argues that energy inefficient industrial agricultural systems need to be replaced and that sustainable climate smart organic agriculture should be at the top of the extension agenda.
Prof Raymond Auerbach Extension Opinion No 17: Emerging farmers need intensive support
Prof Raymond Auerbach from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University argues that emerging farmers need five years of intensive support and highlights key skills and aptitudes needed for extension staff to do their job.
Free State Agri provides the perspective from commercial agriculture Extension Opinion 16: A view from Free State Agri
Dr Jack Armour of Free State Agri, the provincial affiliate of AgriSA reflects on what commercial farmers in the Free State expect of the agricultural extension services.
The Pondoland perspective Extension Opinion No 15: The Pondoland perspective
Richard Bolus from the Wild Coast Farm and Forest Organisation sets out a detailed agenda for more effective extension services in communal areas.
African Centre for Cities Extension Opinion No 14: Improving the viability of Urban Agriculture
Jane Battersby from the African Centre for Cities draws on research which cautions that technocratic ‘solutions’ to urban food insecurity will fail if they do not address how formal food systems impact on the viability of local markets.
Figure 1 Extension Opinion No 13: Feedback based performance management
Andre Proctor of Keystone Accountability examines how to build farmer voice into measurement and performance management for a more farmer-driven extension service
Nelson Mandela Bay Transition Network aiming for a low-carbon, locally resilient metro Extension Opinion No 12: The importance of localisation - implications for extension
Janet Cherry and Pierrelouis Lemercier of the Nelson Mandela Bay Transition Network draw out lessons for the design and focus of extension from a recent review of urban agriculture.
Prof Modi highlights the need for systemic change Extension Opinion No 11: The untapped potential of homestead agriculture
Prof Albert Modi argues that the erosion of extension services and the marginalisation of agriculture in the school curriculum undermines the potential of homestead agriculture.
Knowing who is doing what in order to grow service impact Extension Opinion No 10: Improving district level co-operation between public, private and NGO sectors is key
Louise de Klerk CEO of the Timbali Technology Incubator proposes strategic district collaboration to prevent duplication of services and orient stakeholders to small farmer needs
A healthy crop Extension Opinion No 9: Extension in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces
David Catling, former director of the Land Development Unit reflects on the evolution of agricultural extension services in the two provinces and assesses current extension needs.
Mrs. Mthembu’s garden in Gcilima Extension Opinion: No 7: The challenge of building resilient livelihoods
Jeremy Burnham from the Sustainable Community Investment Program (SCIP) argues that current approaches to extension service delivery builds dependency rather than enablement. He outlines the SCIP alternative.
How sustainable are current agricultural production systems? Extension Opinion No 6: Mainstreaming conservation and biodiversity - the extension challenge
Farayi Madziwa from Conservation South Africa critically reviews agricultural extension and examines how to promote agriculture productivity and economic viability whilst simultaneously conserving biodiversity and agricultural resources
Leonard Mavhungu, Manager of the Fort Hare Dairy Trust speaks to new dairy farmers Extension Opinion No 5: Developing specialist extension services for new dairy farmers
Jeff Every, CEO of Amadlelo Agri sets out his ideas for a partnership to improve support services for new entrants to a competitive dairy industry which has seen a dramatic reduction in its farmer base.
Trust and respect are key for extension Extension Opinion No 4: Pro poor extension
Mike Murray highlights the limits of extension approaches based on transfer of technology and argues for a pro-poor approach to extension.
Counting the costs of extension Extension Opinion No 3: Scale up in New Ways - Not More of the Same
Michael Aliber and Ruth Hall do the (sobering) maths to count the cost of extension and argue for alternative ways of scaling up extension support.
Lusikisiki - Eastern Cape Extension Opinion No 2: What can be done in the former homelands?
David Cooper writes about the challenges of providing extension services in the former homeland areas and suggests a changed role for government.
Open mike: Share your views on extension Extension Opinion No 1: What a useful extension programme would look like
Andrew Cochrane the Manager for LIMA Rural Development Foundation in Mpumalanga and Limpopo contributes the first opinion piece on the state of extension in South Africa and what can be done to make extension systems more effective and responsive
ARC research facilities in Potchefstroom South African research and development focusing on resource poor farmers
Review a selection of recent research undertaken by the Agricultural Research Council with a focus on small holder farmers
Connecting farmers, extensionists and researchers Improving linkages between research, extension and small holder farmers
Internationally reviews of research and extension systems frequently highlight a ‘disconnect’ between agricultural research scientists, extension staff and small holder farmers. How can we close this gap?
What contribution can agriculture make to poverty reduction?
Overcoming challenges to realise potential
Who should the priority focus of agricultural extension? The structure of South African Agriculture
The National Development Plan - Vision 2030 and the New Growth Path highlight the potential of agriculture to create jobs and support livelihoods. In order to realise this potential we need to take a sober look at the structure of the sector.

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