Household food security in South Africa: Evaluating extension's paradigms relative to the current food security and development goals

  • KA Abdu-Raheem
  • SH Worth


Food insecurity is still a great concern for many households in South Africa. This situation is connected to the high level of poverty that exists in the country, particularly in rural areas. Rural households use five key pathways to address their food insecurity and poverty: an agricultural path; a multiple-activity path; an assistance path; a micro-enterprise path and an exit path. Using this framework of pathways, this paper presents a philosophical argument exploring the role agricultural extension can play to realise the goals of food security and poverty alleviation in South African rural households. Drawing on relevant published works, this paper argues that extension is particularly well positioned to address food insecurity and poverty through the instruments of technology transfer and innovation, human capital development, social capital development and increasing market access. These instruments were found capable of influencing the full range of pathways when applied through the agricultural path.

S.Afr. Tydskr. Landbouvoorl./S. Afr. J. Agric. Ext., Vol. 39 Nr 2, 2011: 91 – 103

Author Biographies

KA Abdu-Raheem
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Post Bag X 01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
SH Worth
Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Journal Identifiers

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