The objectives of this study were to identify the extension needs of land reform
beneficiaries (A1 and A2 farmers) for sustainable land reform, by describing and
analyzing the current extension corporation and activities in newly resettled areas.
The study was carried out in three districts, namely Kadoma, Chegutu and Zvimba ,
situated in Mashonaland West province of Zimbabwe. The target population samples
for the study comprised of A1 and A2 farmers (N=690) and the extension personnel
in the three districts (N=68).
The study revealed that there is a distinct difference between A1 and A2 farmers
regarding their socio-economic status, education level, farm size, land tenure status,
and governance structure. 58.0% of A1 farmers farm on farm sizes that vary
between 0.5 – 50ha, while 76.3% of A2 farmers received farm sizes between 51 -
200ha. A1 farmers mainly have obtained only primary level education, while 57.3%
of A2 farmers obtained post matric education. In general the A1 farmer households
are bigger with 16.2% of the households bigger than 10 members compared to A2
farmers where 31% of the households are smaller than three household members.
A1 farmers use permits as tenure instruments which allows them to farm and
communally share grazing areas and water sources. A2 farmers use offer letters and
99-year lease which allows them to exclusively use resources on their farms. The
tenure instruments that apply to A1 farmers have limitations as farmers cannot use
them to borrow operational capital since the land is considered state land. In general
A1 farmers are less satisfied than A2 farmers with the current land reform program
implemented by the government.
According to farmers (A1 and A2) the major constraints preventing them to farm
optimally are: frequent droughts, inadequate financial credit, poor availability of
production inputs, poor extension services, poor farming knowledge and no farming
equipment. Farmers perceived the following stumbling blocks in order of priority to
the current land reform program: inadequate credit facilities, unstable political
situation, corruption and inefficient extension services.
48.0% of extension officers in the three districts (Chegutu, Kadoma, Zvimba) are
between the age of 18-30 years, 64.2% of the extension officers have obtained only
a certificate in agriculture, which is causing problems in the role they play as
technical advisors to farmers. 86.6% of the extension officers have never attended
in-service training to attend to their skills development. The average ratio of
extension officer to farmer is 1:250-300, which is internationally acceptable for
efficient extension delivery. T&V and FSRE extension approaches are the popular approaches extension staff
use, although they are in general not satisfied with these extension approaches
being used, due to the little financial support government provides to execute these
approaches. There is also very little monitoring of application of the various
extension approaches by the department, and there is a lack of commitment on the
part of the government. 72.0% extension officers indicated that they have at least
weekly contact with farmers, mainly through group meetings. Extension officers
perceived their technical as well as extension knowledge to be adequate for efficient
The major constraints being faced by extension officers in the three districts are:
lack of operational budgets, lack of production inputs for farmers, lack of commitment on the part of the farmers and government, low level of farmers'
knowledge about farming practices and climate change. Extension officers perceived
the following stumbling blocks in priority order to the current land reform program:
corruption, lack of planning, lack of coordination among stakeholder and political
A negotiated transition for a land reform program is highly recommended. Proper
selection of the land reform beneficiaries and human capital development is a critical
component of a sustainable extension system. There is a need of greater
participation of private role players in providing of inputs. For this to happen
government should allow a free market system.
A gradual transformation of extension to self finance system is needed. A levy can
be imposed on A2 farmers who are in a stronger economic position, so as to finance
some of the operations of extension.
Due to difference in socio-economic status between A1 and A2 farmers, a tailor
made extension support system needs to be implemented, taking into consideration
these differences. There is a need for programmed extension with expected and
measurable outputs, which offers options and problem solving strategies, facilitate decision-making and technology adaptation, and a need of attracting more private
players in the agricultural extension arena. Also there is a need to employ more
female extension officers, so as to improve participation of female farmers and offer
in-service training for extension officers is much needed.
Dissertation (MSc Agric)--University of Pretoria, 2014.