Two students received Master of Agriculture degrees in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resources Management at this week’s Graduation ceremonies, the first students since the Programme re-located to Cedara to complete five years of study without interruption.
The Programme, instituted in 2010, is run jointly between Cedara College of Agriculture and UKZN, and is the first degree offered at Cedara alongside its diploma programmes.
UKZN students are trained with diploma students through the Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management (AERRM) Discipline in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES).
Mr Sithembiso Ndlela graduated cum laude for his Master’s case study on agricultural extension, sustainable livelihoods and self-reliance in Illovo’s small-scale sugarcane farmer development programme in Noodsberg. He was supervised by Professor Steve Worth.
Ndlela described postgraduate studies as challenging but rewarding, saying determination, a passion for extension and a love of learning helped him achieve his cum laude distinction. He is a firm believer that he can determine his own destiny.
‘I feel I am ready and confident enough to make a difference, with all the necessary skills and knowledge,’ said Ndlela. ‘This programme has not only given me the capacity to be a good Extension Officer, but has changed how I view life and approach problems.’
Mr Nhlanganiso Sibisi received his Master’s degree for his case study of agricultural extension and post-settlement support of land reform beneficiaries in South Africa, focusing on Ixopo in KwaZulu-Natal. He was supervised by Dr Karen Caister and Ms Simphiwe Mngomezulu-Dube.
‘This programme sharpened and broadened my capabilities in agriculture. I found my lecturers professional and approachable,’ said Sibisi. ‘It is not difficult work to study, but requires sustained effort and commitment in order to complete it successfully.’
‘We are very proud of all of our graduates, but these two men have shown exceptional sacrifice and determination in achieving their goal,’ said Caister.