Factors affecting extension workers in their rendering of effective service to pre and post-settled farmers in government initiated and supported farming small, micro and medium enterprises
Mmbengwa, V M
Groenewald, J A
Van Schalkwyk, H D
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Small, micro and medium entrepreneurs play an important role in economic growth and poverty alleviation across the globe. To this effect, the South African government has instituted a policy to encourage the formation, promotion and support of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME’s). In particular, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry (DAF) and Rural Development and Land Affairs (DRDLA), through land acquisition, restitution and other agrarian development systems, initiates and supports agriculturally based SMME’s with the objective of achieving sustainable livelihoods for the poor and commonages. However, an intensive investigation using desktop, government reports, research articles and case studies on the pre and post-settlement delivery of services by extension officers, revealed that support is grossly inadequate in terms of funding, training, technical advice, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation. This is also exacerbated by the extension workers’ lack of capacity and specialization in particular fields, such as production, marketing and management to adequately service the land reform programs. It is therefore recommended that extension workers be capacitated on specialisation, production, management, mentoring, monitoring and evaluation in order for them to deliver quality services that will contribute to in making these SMME’s sustainable.