There is currently no independent monitoring and evaluation structure for state agricultural or veterinary services to support the “Batho Pele” principle of effective and efficient service delivery to the people of South Africa. Participatory rural appraisal was used in Moretele District, North West Province, to design, implement and assess veterinary extension on the tick and worm parasites of cattle. Veterinary extension, in contrast to agricultural extension, is defined as practical and understandable advice given to individual, groups, communities and population about livestock diseases and includes their prevention, treatment and control, as well as the way they influence the well being, health, and productivity of both humans and animals. The study was conducted in Moretele, which lies about 60km north of Pretoria, and is divided into three service delivery wards, each managed by an animal health technician. A random sample of 30 beef cattle farmers, each with a minimum of 10 cattle, was done in each ward. From each of these 90 farmers, five indicator cattle were purposively selected to include two calves, two sub-adults and one adult animal. Adult feeding ticks were sampled from predetermined sites and eggs per gram were estimated from pooled faecal samples of the same animals. The knowledge levels of animal health technicians (N=44) were assessed prior to the extension being given to the farmers and it was found to be inadequate. They were then given further training. Demographics and knowledge level of farmers were assessed using structured interviews. Baseline sampling for parasites was done on the indicator cattle. A farmer’s day and monthly extension using the visit and training method of extension was done with the farmers over a period of 12 months. The level of knowledge of the farmers was reassessed and the indicator cattle resampled at the same time of the year as the first sampling. It was found that although there was a significant increase in the farmers knowledge, there were no significant differences in the level or species of parasites. It was concluded that animal health technicians did not normally have sufficient knowledge of the subject to give farmers affective extension messages. It was also concluded that knowledge and implementation of extension are not the same thing and that further research is required into the reasons for lack of implementation.
Dissertation (MSc (Veterinary Sciences))--University of Pretoria, 2006.