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Appointment of Director of the African Centre for Food Security

2016/02/04 01:08:36 PM

Prof Steve Worth Appointed as Associate Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management and Director of the ACFS

After a lengthy search for the right senior academic candidate to assume the position of Director of the African Centre for Food Security (ACFS), the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) is pleased to announce that a panel led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science has appointed Prof Steve Worth as Associate Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management and Director of the ACFS. Prof Worth was selected from a shortlist of a number of candidates from South Africa and abroad.



Prof Steve Worth


Originally from California in the USA, Prof Worth received his Bachelor of Science cum laude in Agricultural Business from California State University at Fresno in 1978 and shortly thereafter emigrated to South Africa as a part of his desire to contribute to the betterment of world borne of his commitment to the Bahá'í teachings. Settling in Mahikeng, he spent 17 years working in the field of agricultural and rural development among smallholder African farmers and village communities in what is now the North West Province. He served in agricultural economics, public relations, cooperative development and ultimately district and regional management where he managed a staff of 450 people responsible for the provision of extension, animal health, and related development services to thousands of farmers in an area extending over more than 8 million hectares, governing an annual budget of R20 million. It was then that he learned first-hand and gained his passion for agricultural extension.

Prof Worth completed his Master of Agricultural Management at the then-University of Natal in 1994 focusing on the management of agricultural development among smallholder farmers. Between 1996 and 2001 he consulted independently in land reform, rural enterprise development and agricultural planning. He joined the University in 2001, where he was a senior lecturer, researcher, and later Acting Director in the Centre for Rural Development Systems (CERDES). When the Centre for Environment, Agriculture and Development (CEAD) was instituted in 2005, he joined that Centre as a senior lecturer and researcher working in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management and Community Resource Management. He went on to pursue a PhD with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which he completed in 2009 focusing on agricultural extension education in South Africa. With the re-structuring of UKZN to the College model in 2012, Prof Worth was appointed academic coordinator of the discipline of Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management. In 2015, he was appointed Academic Leader of Teaching and Learning for SAEES.

Prof Worth has a national and international reputation as an Agricultural Extension and Agricultural Education expert. He has trained many Masters and PhD students and published widely in his field, and is especially skilled at curriculum development and facilitation. He established the Agricultural Extension programme of UKZN – the most successful in the country. His reputation is recognised by the provincial and national governments in South Africa, as well as overseas organisations dealing with agricultural education and rural development.

In his new role, Prof Worth will continue to forge ahead in the arena of Agricultural Extension while also advancing UKZN’s work in the global strategic area of Food Security.

Christine Cuenod

Public Relations

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