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Programme: BAgricHons Rural Development

Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Minimum duration of study: 1 year
Total credits: 135

Programme information

This programme is coordinated in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development.

The aim of this programme is to enable graduates to participate in and lead rural development processes and policy initiatives. It provides a broad-based understanding of rural development, including project planning and analysis and strategic management.

Admission requirements

In order to be accepted for the BAgricHons studies, a can­didate must be in possession of an acceptable bachelor’s degree. An average of 60% is required for admission. An entrance examination is necessary, although exemption may be granted under certain circumstances, as determined by the head of the department. Specified modules, in addition to the honours modules, may be required, as determined by the head of department(s) in the candidate's proposed field of specialisation.

Examinations and pass requirements

In order to obtain the degree, the candidate must achieve a minimum of 50% in each of the prescribed modules.

Pass with distinction

An average of 75% in all the prescribed modules must be obtained in order to pass the degree with distinction.

Minimum credits: 135

Core modules

AGV 713 Communication for sustainable rural development 713 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Introduction to the Communication Process, its role and importance.  Communication and perception - role of Extension in AKIS.  Clarification of principles and definitions; theory of  communication;  Strategies for communication and Extension methods.  Key elements and channels of communication;  credibility;  persuasion;  public speaking;  audio visual aids; mass media and their effect;  new reporting;  articles and newsletters.  Designing communication interventions.  Impact assessment approaches and tools.  Appreciative Communication Inquiry:  5-D Approach.

AGV 715 Principles and approaches of rural development and extension 715 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Overview of the origin, role, development of extension; Philosophy and principles of extension.  International approaches to extension delivery:  Training and Visit, Farming system development, Project approach,  Farmer Field Schools, Participatory Extension and Participatory Technology Development.  Extension's role in sustainable agriculture development;  Adult learning principles, privatizing and outsourcing of agricultural extension;  the role of non-governmental organisations (NGO's) in extension delivery.  Decentralisation of extension.  Participation and coordination of stakeholders in the planning of linkages between extension, research and the farming community.

ARD 780 Research project: Rural development studies 780 Credits: 30.00

Module content:

Overview of the concepts and theories of rural development including evolution of rural development theories, role of agriculture in rural developments, natural resource base and role of government. Rural livelihood systems focusing on household farming systems, decisions and operation of farming systems, the farm as a social system, nonfarm, off-farm small, micro and medium enterprises in the rural economy, development intervention and household food security. Rural institutions including local governance, community based and farmer organisations, agricultural credit and rural finance, input and output markets, human capital formation, land tenure and land reform, policy making institutions, and institutions of the agricultural knowledge triangle (research, teaching and extension).  The relationship between rural sociology, community development and extension;  physical and social structures of communities;  cultural relativism;  sustainability;  indigenous knowledge;  social stratification;  development as change;  principles and functions of community development;  development barriers;  participatory development methodologies, rural poverty.  Methodologies for rural development including farming systems approach, participatory appraisal techniques, assessment of land-use patterns and agrarian systems in rural settings: zoning techniques, socio-economic and technical assessment of the farming system, topological techniques and gender sensitive methodologies. Communication for rural development and planning rural development at local levels. Practical assignment in collaboration with rural communities managed by the School’s outreach department.

ARD 784 Research project 784 Credits: 30.00

Module content:

Research project and case study of rural problems, challenges and dynamics in rural communities. The research project should address an important contemporary rural development problem or challenge and contribute towards the solution thereof.

LEK 720 Agribusiness management 720 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Strategic management in agriculture. Dynamics of agricultural management. Entrepreneurship. Environmental scanning. Productivity measurement and improvement thereof by the organisation of manpower, capital and financial sources. Business growth. Formulation and implementation of competitive strategy. Corporate governance, strategic analysis and strategic choice, strategy implementation, balanced scorecard.

LEK 785 Agricultural project planning and appraisal 785 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

a) Project planning and priority setting (project concept to rural socioeconomic development, logical framework analysis, research priority setting methods, strategic planning, scenario planning).
b) Economic analysis of agricultural development projects through CBA (decision making in public and private sectors, financial, social and economic considerations; identification of Cs and Bs, valuation of Cs and Bs; project assessment criteria.
c) Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment (process and program monitoring, MandE systems; causality, incrementality and the attribution problem; impacts assessment methodology.
d) Project management (scheduling, techniques for management, managing risk and uncertainty, monitoring performance
e) Welfare economics and political economy considerations (Pareto optimality, compensation tests, efficiency and distribution, politics of CBA, development projects vs. development policies, first vs. second best shadow prices,  market failure)

Elective modules

AGV 712 Leadership and group dynamics 712 Credits: 20.00

Module content:

Nature, philosophy and objectives of Extension.  The group as channel and instrument in extension; definitions and characteristics of groups; group formation; theories regarding the functioning of groups; group norms; group goals;  small group techniques;  rural groups and their engagement;  definitions and theories of leadership;  behaviour and attitude in group work;  the extensionist as professional leader;  group analysis in group context and process;  training of leaders.  Conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation.  Ethics in extension and agricultural development.  Management in extension;  Strategic planning;  functions of management.