Maboloka Jonas Chip liaises daily between farmers, government and the private sector. Working as an agricultural extension officer, a big part of his job is offering support, providing extension services and advice to farmers in Gauteng.
Agricultural extension officers are the go-between research and farmers operating as both facilitators and communicators, helping farmers in their decision-making and ensuring that the appropriate knowledge is implemented to obtain the best results.
One of Chip’s proudest career moments was developing biogas with beef producers to mitigate the impact of climate change. “Later we used the biogas slurry as organic fertiliser to produce vegetables like spinach, peppers and tomatoes. The farmers are now able to save in vegetable production while generating energy by using biogas technology,” he says.
Chip encourages high school learners inspired by AgriSETA Learner Connect to choose agriculture. “We have ageing extension service officials and we need young people to fill the skills (gap). They can come with innovations in agriculture.”
Agricultural extension officers are the latest exciting career featured on Food for Mzansi and 19 radio stations all over the country as part of our AgriSETA Learner Connect Campaign. Through AgriSETA Learner Connect we want to help guide learners fill the scarce and critical jobs in the agri sector.
Our daily advice sessions are also easily downloadable on most of the major podcasts platforms where you already hang out. Scroll down to find the links to this episode. You can also search for AgriSETA Learner Connect on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Alternatively, just listen right here, right now.
1Could you sum up your job for us? I am an agricultural advisor at the Gauteng department of agriculture and rural development. I work to provide extension and advisory service to animal product farmers in Gauteng.
2So, what does the day-to-day of your job entail? On a daily basis I provide an extension and advisory service to animal product farmers in Gauteng. I link farmers to government and private services.
What qualification do you need for this career? Subjects needed are agriculture, mathematics, biology and physical science. As an extension officer you should have good listening skills and be a good communicator and observer to provide relevant advice.
4What are the character traits you need to be great at your job? You must love to work with people most of the time. It’s important to be open to learn from farmers and fellow colleagues. Be approachable.
5What subjects do I need to become a agricultural extension officer?Not all schools offer agricultural subjects, but if you’re lucky enough to have this at your school, it will always count in your favour. At the very least, mathematics, biology and physical sciences are recommended.
6What do you love about agriculture as a space to work in? I love my job because I’m always in the field with farmers. Learning form farmers and they are learning form me.
7Don’t be modest, tell us about your proudest career moments? My proudest career moment was when we developed the biogas initiative with the beef producers to mitigate climate change impacts. Later we used the biogas slurry as organic fertiliser to produce vegetable such as spinach, peppers and tomatoes. Farmers can now save in vegetable production while generating energy by using the biogas technology.
8What do you do when you’re not at work? I am a Christian, I go to church and I’m also studying with UNISA to compete my PhD. I also like to chill with my family and friends.
9Any advice for young people who are inspired by your career story here on AgriSETA Learner Connect? My advice to young people is that they should consider to study agriculture at different universities or colleges. People need to eat at least three times a day. And we have ageing extension service officials. We need young people to to fill the skills gap. Young people can also come with innovations in agriculture. Without agriculture we can’t have food.
10Where can I study to become an agricultural extension officer? To be agricultural an extension you can study at colleges and universities like University of Pretoria, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Fort Hare and North-West University. They can also be specialists in crop production, animal production and other disciplines.
How to listen to AgriSETA Learner Connect:
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Catch AgriSETA Learner Connect on these radio stations:
Waterberg Stereo: Bela Bela, Brits, Naboomspruit, Pietersburg, Pretoria, Thabazimbi, Tzaneen – 104.9 FM
Waterberg Stereo: Thabazimbi, Naboomspruit – 104.9 FM
Laeveld Stereo: Nelspruit – 100.5 FM
Lichvaal Stereo: Lichtenburg – 92.6 FM
Overvaal Stereo: Viljoenskroon, Parys – 96.1 FM
Maluti FM: Bethlehem – 97.1 FM
Rosestad FM: Bloemfontein – 100.6 FM
Wild Coast FM: East London – 98.6 FM
Gamka FM: Oudtshoorn – 87.6 FM
Kouga FM: Humansdorp – 97.8 FM
Eden FM: Hessequa, Kannaland, Karoo, Oudtshoorn, Plettenbergbaai, Riversdale, Uniondale – 93.8 FM
Radio Overberg: Bredasdorp – 98.4 FM
Caledon FM: Caledon – 89.3 FM
Whale Coast FM: Hermanus – 96.0 FM
West Coast FM: Vredenburg – 92.3 FM
Lara FM: Springbok – 91.6 FM
NFM: Okiep – 98.1 FM