The need for a new generation of farmers and agriculturists in South Africa and the role of agricultural extension

  • SE Terblanché


Agriculture remains an important sector in the South African economy. According to the Strategic Plan for South African Agriculture, it recognises the importance of the youth, emphasises the education and training of the youth, to ensure a new generation of farmers and agriculturists. The youth however show very little interest in agriculture, not only in South Africa, but worldwide and one of the challenges will be to change the negative image of agriculture among the youth. A research study among Grade 12 learners from 25 schools in the Limpopo Province was done and it revealed that learners performed very poor in the final exam and 66% failed. Clear indications were found that the learners overestimated their performance; incorrectly assessed their coping strength; the majority (65%) were repeating the subject; there was a total lack of practical classes; the attitude of fellow learners (peer group) towards learners taking agricultural science was negative. Agricultural Science was perceived as unimportant to further their career and only 43% took the subject out of own choice. Teacher quality, knowledge, attitude and their enthusiasm were perceived by the learners as insufficient and negative.

South African Journal of Agricultural Extension Vol. 35 (2) 2006: pp. 132-157

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2413-3221
print ISSN: 0301-603X