Undergraduate Agricultural Extension Qualifications in South Africa: Comparing Available Curricula to Desired Skills and Competencies


  • L. Von Maltitz
  • J.A. Van Niekerk




Agricultural Extension, Curricula, Bachelor's Degree, Skills, Competencies


Globally, the need for the agricultural extension profession to change from a top-down, production-focused approach to a more participatory and holistic approach has been reiterated. Different stakeholders in South Africa have criticised the public sector service delivery efficiency. To enhance the standard of service, the South African government has specified that every person employed as an agricultural extension worker in the public sector should have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. The department has made much progress. Currently, 73% of all extension professionals in the public sector have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Despite this, the department still highlights training as inadequate regarding the profession's needs. A proficient agricultural extension sector is vital in assisting farmers in dealing with challenges and enhancing food security. This article examines the available undergraduate bachelor qualifications in agricultural extension in South Africa to determine their relevance in the competencies and skills required by the profession. The curriculum evaluation and improvement model is used as methodology, and coding is used as an analytical tool. The results show that available curricula are still excessively focused on technical subject matter and expertise, and there is an urgent need for updating curricula to be more relevant to the profession's needs.


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How to Cite

Von Maltitz, L., & Van Niekerk, J. (2023). Undergraduate Agricultural Extension Qualifications in South Africa: Comparing Available Curricula to Desired Skills and Competencies . South African Journal of Agricultural Extension (SAJAE), 51(3), 210–229. https://doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2023/v51n3a15587

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