South African Society for
A warm South African
A warm South African
54TH CONFERENCE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION “FACILITATION FOR DEVELOPMENT IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN THE NEW ERA (COVID-19 PANDEMIC)” ASHANTI ESTATE, SONSTRAAL
Researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute, the University of the Free State, and the University of Pretoria, working with Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, are conducting a study to find out South African extension agents competency levels and attitudes to take on more intensive and varied roles in the future. Using a population survey, we will target all public and non-public extension staff from every province using an online questionnaire in South Africa.
Data collected will be focused on respondents’ perceptions of competencies about their job and profession and their attitudes toward digital extension. Employer information, length of experience, and demographic information such as gender, age, and education levels will be collected.
We will use an online survey (Survey Monkey or similar software) distributed to public and private extension agents from August-September 2021. The sampling frame includes the entire population, that is, all individuals who work as agricultural extension agents, crop advisors, livestock advisors, and other related roles from the public, private, and non-profit sectors in South Africa.
We will attempt to obtain responses from about half of the total number of extension officers in each province. There are 2,704 public officers (Table 1), and roughly another 1,500 private/non-governmental officers distributed throughout the nine South African provinces (Figure 1).
For the public sector, we will work with the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s Sub-programme National Extension Support Services. We will use the quarterly Public Sector Forum meetings organized with the Provincial Departments of Agriculture. We will target the Public Sector Forum on 6 August 2021, held online. The study leads will give background to the study and inform participants about it to get buy-in and support. Then based on this awareness raising, the research coordinator will communicate with provincial extension heads and ask them to distribute the survey to their constituencies.
The research coordinator will also develop a list of private extension bodies such as agricultural unions, commodity associations, individual firms, banks, NGOs, and other private sector actors in each province. The research coordinator, or study leads with personal contacts with individuals, will forward the survey and information to relevant focal points outside of government and ask them to share.
The survey link, along with a full explanation of the study and contact information for the study lead and ethics board, will be provided in the communication to provincial extension heads and non-governmental focal points.
The coordinator will engage bilaterally to follow up with provinces and non-governmental focal points to ensure sufficient responses to the survey. The DALRRD at national level will support if necessary, with follow up with provincial heads.
We may also use the annual South African Society for Agricultural Extension (SASAE) conference in Paarl, Western Cape, held 11-14 October 2021, to promote the survey if response rates are too low. This will involve the research coordinator attending the conference, promoting the study, and encouraging participants to fill the survey.
Coordination Expectations and Timeline
A research coordinator is sought for the following tasks:
- Preparing all communication about the project to external stakeholders, and sending information in some cases
- Setting up meetings for the researchers and taking notes
- Reaching out to provincial heads of extension to promote the survey
- Reaching out to nongovernmental focal points to promote the survey
- Promoting the survey in appropriate online venues
- Liaising with DALRRD, provincial heads of extension, and the research team
- Keeping a record of number of respondents from government and nongovernmental sectors
- Following up with provincial heads of extension and nongovernmental focal points to promote the survey
- Ensuring that the research runs according to schedule
- Supporting the research team as required
The following skillsets and attitudes are required:
- Excellent knowledge of the South African extension scene and role players
- Good knowledge of online survey software such as Survey Monkey
- Professional demeanor in all practice and particularly in oral and written communication
- Ability to approach people in a friendly, compelling, and engaging way
- Time-conscious, able to respect deadlines
- Team player
The coordinator should have all the relevant hardware and software necessary for the job. Data collection will take place between August and October 2021; analysis will take place in October and reports finalized and presented in November.
Please send a cover letter detailing your ability with regard to the above, and a proposal detailing how you will go about the work and the estimated costs, along with a CV, to Dr Johan van Niekerk at vNiekerkJA@ufs.ac.za by 25 July, 2021.
The Board of SASAE will be holding the 2020 Annual Conference in Paarl, Western Cape, October 11-14, 2021. The theme of the conference is: “Facilitation for development in Agricultural Extension”
The South African Society for Agricultural Extension is a voluntary professional organisation with the aim to improve the quality of extension to all farmers through its members. The ultimate aim of agricultural extension professionals is to influence development change in the societies where they work. In the agricultural innovation systems (AIS) context, this change will be stimulated by better relationships between actors. It is therefore imperative that you (as an extension professional) endeavour to develop good facilitation skills to increase your effectiveness.
We are excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website – www.sasae.co.za. The new site features a modern design, improved functionality, and easy access to essential information. Our goal with the new designed website is to create a user-friendly browsing experience for our valued members. We hope you will enjoy our new design that is easy to navigate. Its important for us to make our services easily accessible so please keep a lookout for more exciting features that will be added to the website over the coming months. Some things to look forward to are:
- New members portal where members will be able to access all their SASAE related information regarding their membership status.
- Easily membership applications
We are sure that in the new website you will find all the information that you need. If you have anything you would like to send us about your experience with the website, please send us an email.
- To advance and apply the SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION within Rural Development as a scientific discipline by stimulating thought, study, research, discussion and the publication and exchange of knowledge both Nationally and Internationally.
- To promote the professionalism, status and dignity of the AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION PROFESSION amongst members, the scientific fraternity, Agricultural Extension Practitioners, the general public and with the studying youth
- To practice the natural-, economic- and managerial sciences responsibly and in PUBLIC INTEREST.
- To act as representative MOUTHPIECE for the extension profession in agriculture.