Partnering, poverty reduction and rural enterprise advancement
NEPAD\'s (New Economic Partnership for African Development) overall vision for agriculture seeks to maximize the contribution of Africa\'s largest economic sector to achieve self-reliant and productive economies. In essence, NEPAD aims for agriculture to deliver broad based economic advancement, to which other economic sectors, such as manufacturing, petroleum, minerals and tourism, may also contribute in significant ways, but not at the same level as agriculture. Agriculture has been identified as the vehicle through which Africa will have to alleviate its poverty, hunger and food insecurity problems. Given this scenario, the University of Fort Hare (UFH) has, through its establishment of the Rural Enterprise Advancement Programme (REAP) and its implementation through the Nguni Cattle Project and the Agri-Park Business Training Programme, restructured its agricultural research, training and community partnering activities and established a strong partnering relationship with NEPAD Council. The main focus of REAP, as advancement programme, is to actively and constructively contribute to: i) Cost effective harnessing of the best available expertise and knowledge; ii) fulfilling all its functions optimally through the creation and fostering of purposeful and effective dynamic relationships or linkages – both of strategic and operational value; iii) organically growing, developing and replicating rural enterprises in other areas at the best possible costs; and iv) building a frame of reference for purposeful agricultural and agriculture related business and social growth research, training and community partnering programmes. Agricultural extension has now (through the design and implementation of REAP) started with new strategies to create opportunities for greater participation in agriculture as well as greater sustainable wealth creation opportunities for small-scale farmers.
South African Journal of Agricultural Extension Vol. 35 (2) 2006: pp. 258-277