Welcome to our Department!

WELCOME to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development where we seek to strengthen human capital in the agricultural and food sector in South Africa and the African continent. We do this by applying knowledge from economics and other social sciences to solving challenges related to food and agriculture, environmental and natural resources and rural development. Our research, investment in human capital and active partnerships seek to contribute to improving the efficiencies of the food system from production, through processing, marketing and the management of waste to ensure progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 in particular. Through our research, teaching and public engagement, we aim to make a contribution to raising incomes, reducing inequalities, improving food security and reducing malnutrition. 


The University of Pretoria has been offering degree programmes in agricultural economics and extension since the early 1970s.  Due to the diversity of the issues covered by our Department, our expertise and research focuses are organised in five main streams: agricultural policy analysis, environmental economics, agribusiness management and agricultural finance, agricultural extension and rural development (including food security).


Because of the reputation of the University of Pretoria, our Department attracts many students from other African countries. Fifty-five percent of all our postgraduate students are from other countries. Our Department also hosts the shared facility of the Collaborative Masters programme in Agricultural and Applied Economics (a joint programme with University partners from 16 African universities) which bears testimony to the quality of the programme and the facilities that our Department and the University of Pretoria provides.


For any questions relating to our Department, or our degree programs you are most welcome to contact any one of the following responsible people:

Dr Melissa van der Merwe – [email protected] – Academic Advisor
Mrs Rose Ngwenya – [email protected] – Departmental Administrator
Mrs Charlotte Kock – [email protected] – Post Graduate Enquiries


We look forward to engaging with you!


All the best,

Prof Sheryl Hendriks


Published by Melissa van der Merwe

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