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University of Namibia (2014)

The impact of decentralised agricultural extension service on stock-raising in Daures Constituency of the Erongo Region : A case study of the Okombahe settlement

 !Owos-Oab, Eliphas

Titre : The impact of decentralised agricultural extension service on stock-raising in Daures Constituency of the Erongo Region : A case study of the Okombahe settlement

Auteur : !Owos-Oab, Eliphas

Université de soutenance : University of Namibia

Grade : Master of public Administration 2014

Résumé
The research used a qualitative case study based on an agricultural extension organisation in Okombahe Settlement Area. The pressure on the public agricultural extension organisation to improve its responsiveness to meet the stock-raising needs of communal farmers has increased after Namibia attained her independence in 1990. Extensive livestock farming remains the main land-based economic activity in the communal farming area of the Okombahe Settlement. To improve agricultural productivity and the livelihood security of communal farm households, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry resolved to decentralise its extension services in 1995. Although this was a critical stage in agricultural policy, the extension service has struggled to implement this policy effectively. The decentralised agricultural extension was introduced with the aim of eventually developing a demand-driven extension support to the farming community in general and communal farmers in particular. Although viewed as successful, it has yet to achieve the level of farmer participation (e.g. self-mobilisation) that is required for a demand-driven extension system. Despite government’s commitment to developmental efforts and resources towards smallholder farmers in the impoverished and under-developed communal areas, the agricultural extension support has been inadequate towards farmers’ needs in the Okombahe Settlement Area. Currently, the level of farmer participation can be classified as somewhere between receiving information and consultation. The farmer participation in extension processes will require putting farmers first or giving them real ownership and accountability of public extension management through collaboration and self-mobilisation. The role of an extension agent must shift from top-down dissemination of technological packages, towards providing farmers with the knowledge and understanding with which to solve their own location-specific problems. The findings suggest that an important factor that can contribute to the success of a local level extension organisation is its ability to coordinate its activities in close collaboration with communal farmers through active involvement and selfmobilisation.

Mots clés : Stock raising — Daures — Agricultural extension work, Namibia — Farm management, Namibia — Decentralization in government, Namibia

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