Extension practitioners from the private sector are highly trained in the Natural Science.
Some shortfalls in their Extension Science training have been identified. Perceived training
needs in the Extension Science within this sector have been privatised.
A number of possible training inputs and options are suggested. Options can be pursued by
way of the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) models as already practiced by a
number of Professions. Such investment can assist management with personnel evaluation.
Credible and experienced seminar style (including capable retirees) would become involved
in CPD programmes and as mentors within in-service training initiatives.
The private sector is becoming increasingly involved in the upliftment of the emerging
agricultural sector. Many emerging farmers are seen as the Commercial Gardens of the
future and are being empowered by their Extensionists to fulfil such roles.
The quality of the training cannot be compromised. Compromising education and training
programmes is disadvantageous to the Extensionist but even more so to the disadvantage of
the farming clientele.
Only 16.3% of the practicing agricultural Extensionist lack sufficient training in the Natural
Sciences to register with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions
(SACNASP). 43,5% of the field workers (80) are members of Learned Societies in the Natural
Sciences, 12,5% are members of the South African Society for Agricultural
Extension(SASAE) and only 6,3% are registered with SACNASP. Communication is
considered as the most important Extension training module.