For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Addressing the challenge of diversity, distance and land reform.
Extension, Education, Training and Mentorship for South African Sugar Farmers: addressing the challenge of diversity, distance and land reform.

CANEGROWERS represents 29 000 farmers, 1 500 large-scale and 27 500 small-scale farmers. Small-scale farmers produce less than 300 tons cane per annum and the majority farm on 1 hectare plots. For the past 36 years the industry has supported agricultural training and provided an extension service to assist all farmers improve their production. More recently, CANEGROWERS introduced a project aimed at changing the mind-set of small-scale farmers. This project has produced rural entrepreneurs who have realised that through measuring, monitoring and good record-keeping their approach to their business has improved resulting in better yields. When this new mind-set is combined with institutional support, targeted training and consolidation of entities it results in a more sustainable future.

Land reform has introduced a large number of new entrant farmers into the large-scale sector within a relative short period of time with limited experience in business and farming. The traditional service provision model has not been able to meet the needs of these farmers. The result has been a new extension service delivery model which will be introduced this year. It will provide clearly defined services for entry, intermediate and advanced level farmers. Each service level will be characterised by a specific mode of service delivery ranging from hand-holding at entry level to sophisticated web based support to the advanced level.

Agronomic and economic extension, education, training and mentorship programmes have had to be reviewed. Our challenge at present is to re-design the agronomic education course and to set up a business management course so that both can be accessed at a distance, in the language of the farmer, with the farming calendar accommodated and acknowledges the limitations of the electronic age in deep rural South Africa. These also have to be cost effective. Only through using modern technology will these farmers be able to engage in continuous professional development in their time and space to ensure their sustainability into the future.


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