Agricultural extension, research, and development for increased food security: the need for public-private sector partnerships in South Africa
The challenges of food security and agricultural development in South Africa cannot simply be solved by limiting extension and research development to the public sector. However, if shortcomings arise in the public sector while addressing extension, research and development, the potential involvement of the private sector is increased. The current lack of public and private partnerships (PPPs) in extension, research and development increase the difficulty of solving the food security challenges in South Africa. The current study investigated the role of extension and research as processes for the development for sustainable food security, and the need for developing PPP’s in South Africa. The study is based on a comprehensive theoretical review of available literature and government policies. Analysis of the data collected revealed that the improvement of agricultural production, with the goal of sustainable food security, in South Africa, might not be achieved without an effective agricultural extension service that is strongly linked to research. It was also found that public sector extension work is a necessity for the growth of the industry, but is limited by inadequate resources, bureaucratic work and the multidimensional work requirements. A need has been identified by the government to encourage the participation from the private sector in agricultural extension and research development.
Keywords: Food security, development, extension, research, public-private partnerships