The Role of Extension as a Profession Is Critical in Delivering Excellent Services: An Experience From Limpopo, South Africa

E. M. Zwane


The paper argues that professionalism also affect agricultural extension in service delivery by creating demotivated cadres in agriculture. It also provides clarification of the concept of professionalism. It draws data from researchers who did extensive work in the area of professionalism and the registration of profession, the paper seeks to achieve the following: 1) provide concrete principles of professionalism, 2) identify critical obstacles associated with professionalism, 3) review progress on efforts done to date in South Africa about professionalism in extension, 4) and highlight the qualities extensionists are expected to possess. Only three districts in Limpopo namely Capricorn, Vhembe and Sekhukhune participated in a sample of 30 extension officers. They were interviewed on their opinions about skills requirements of extension profession.

The sample was analyzed through Staistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) programme. The results revealed that certain skills are important to be possessed by the extension practitioners as seen by its rating: public speaking 86%, writing 72%, listening 69%, research linkages 83%, leadership,76.6%, critical thinking 63%, supervisory 70% and communication planning 83.3%. But when respondents were asked to judge themselves on the functionality of those skills, it was found wanting. The paper concludes with some recommendations.

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Journal of Agricultural Science ISSN 1916-9752 (Print) ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)

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