The need for changes in veld management technology generation and dissemination
Veld deterioration in South Africa has been reported since 1775. Agricultural researchers and extension workers have since tried a variety of ways to address this problem and they came up with different explanations for veld deterioration and reasons for the non-adoption by farmers of recommended veld management practices. Social science in general has gone through several phases that represent three distinct paradigm shifts. This paper shows that similar trends are apparent in veld management research and extension. Veld management technologies are firstly shown to be inappropriate for the needs of farmers. For all practical purposes farmers cannot implement those technologies. It has also become evident that veld management technologies have not been scientifically verified. Both veld management research and extension are at cross roads and more participatory approaches by both fields are recommended to address the problem. Veld management extension workers and researchers and farmers must unify their efforts in addressing the complex issues concerning veld deterioration.
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