Original Articles

The incompatibility of controlled selective grazing systems with farmers’ needs

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1992.9648295
Author(s): G.H. DüvelS.A. Institute for Agricultural Extension, Republic of South Africa, H.P.J. ScholtzDepartment of Agricultural Development, Republic of South Africa

Abstract

Since extension inputs, subsidy schemes and even legislation over several decades were unable to stem the veld deterioration in southern Africa, a renewed attempt was made to identify the causes of the non‐adoption of recommended veld management practices. The hypothesis that controlled selective grazing (CSG) as a recommended system of veld management is incompatible with farmers’ needs was investigated by interviewing 77 sheep farmers and relating their identified needs and perceptions to their adoption behaviour. The findings reflect a general incompatibility between CSG and the farmers’ needs. Aspirations for improved veld and veld management hardly feature in fanners’ need hierarchies, while the potential need for veld improvement appears to be suppressed by various misperceptions. For the majority of respondents CSG is regarded as inferior to their own or other alternative systems of veld management and offer more disadvantages than advantages — also from a production and an economic point of view. The findings question the appropriateness of CSG and suggestions are made for alternative solutions which are more compatible with farmers’ needs.

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