The study examined the perception of project participants and extension officers about participation in agricultural projects. Specific objectives of the study were (1) to determine the degree of participation, and (2) format of participation as perceived by project participants and extension officers in the North West Province. A questionnaire was designed to collect data, in which structured and unstructured questions were used. To ensure a good flow of ideas, the questionnaire was divided into distinct sections. Data was captured and analysed by the Department of Statistics of the University of Pretoria. The data was collected by means of personal interviews with a total of 129 project participants and 75 extension officers.
The major findings were as follows: (1) Project participants initiated, and volunteered to participate in, projects, and owned and planned them. (2) The major decisions were made and accountability was retained by the project participants. (3) Project participants were consulted during needs assessments and during project development. (4) In terms of support, the community and the extension officers supported the project participants in many ways, such as allowing them to do farming on communal land and DARD provided infrastructure and training. Findings also showed that there was genuine participation in most projects. (5) According to both respondent categories there are too many members in the projects. (6) Extension officers participated well in the initial phase of the project but not sufficiently in the follow up phases of the project.
This article is part of the author's PhD Thesis. University of Pretoria, South Africa. (http://hdl.handle.net/2263/50690)