DOES PARTICPATION IN AGRICULTURE IMPROVES OUTPUT: AN EXPERIENCE FROM LIMPOPO’S BROADENING AGRICULTURAL SERVICES AND EXTENSION DELIVERY (BASED) PROGRAMME
Participatory extension approaches have been adopted in Limpopo Province Department of Agriculture through Broadening Agricultural Services and Extension Delivery (BASED) programme since 1998. However in 2006 when the project came to a close the programme struggled to continue due to different vision held by the leadership in the organization. The approach has the potential to improve extension delivery because of its framework which allows the involvement of different stakeholders. Since the past six years after the close of the project service delivery has not showed any significant improvements although some notable outputs have been observed in the two pilot districts namely Vhembe and Capricorn. Within the two districts there a number of sites that were identified into pilot, however only two sites are reported in this paper namely Spitzkop in Capricorn and Mbahela in Vhembe district. The objective of this paper is to share experience of Limpopo Province in terms of participatory strategies adopted and how institutions are linked within the framework of BASED. A total of 79 extension officers were interviewed in this study from a sample of 277. The study found that due to the implementation of the Participatory Programme it promoted inclusivity, increasing of maize production yield, fostered good working relationship among farmers, involvement of women in leadership role, involvement of more farmers in experimentation, local people became aware of importance of agriculture.
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