UKZN Student Attends SA Society for Agricultural Extension Conference
UKZN student in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management (AERRM), Mr Bhekisisa Nxumalo, attended the 49th annual conference of the South African Society for Agricultural Extension (SASAE) held in Mpumalanga.
Nxumalo, who was selected to attend by Dr Karen Caister, said he was honoured to be chosen and have the opportunity to meet with SASAE leaders and representatives of the agricultural sector.
Part of his involvement at the Conference entailed supporting his lecturers, with Dr Steve Worth of the Discipline of AERRM presenting on learning for sustainability in the sugar industry.
‘As a student in the AERRM, the Conference was a great platform to enhance my understanding about extension outside of the classroom and about extension in general,’ said Nxumalo. ‘I met different people from different countries and provinces of this country who are in the field of agricultural extension, and it was a great platform for networking with experts who have done the qualification I’m doing.
‘I learnt a lot and my knowledge of agricultural extension was really enhanced. I now have a fresh perspective on agricultural extension - ‘we farm farmers and farmers farm the soil’.
Nxumalo’s attendance was especially useful as he is an active member of the recently-launched Agri-Groomers group, a student-led body which aims to develop youth in agriculture and link them to the agricultural sector.
He studies on-site at the Cedara College of Agriculture for the majority of his time thanks to the partnership between the institution and UKZN. He believes that because of the strong reputations both institutions have for excellence in agriculture, his degree will stand him in good stead in the future.
He hopes to continue his studies to PhD level and drive the advancement of the agricultural sector in South Africa.