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Mentee and mentor traits for establishing and sustaining mentorship: pesperctives from the South African sugar industry

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Agricultural Economics, Education and Extension, Botswana College of Agriculture, P/Bag0027, Gaborone, Botswana

Res. J.Educational Sci., Volume 4, Issue (2), Pages 1-6, February,1 (2016)


Mentorship in South Africa (SA) has the pontential to equip black emerging farmers with the necessary skills required to farm successfully. However, for mentorship to be successful, among other things, mentors and mentees should have some attributes that enhance and help them nurture mentorship relationships. This paperuses 2010 data from a sample of 43 emerging black sugarcane growers and 11 mentors in three KwaZulu- Natal (KZN) sugar growing regions and seeks to report on (i) demographic characteristics of the surveyed sugarcane growers, (ii) respondents’ views on competences required for establishing and sustaining mentorship, and (iii) identify policy implications. The sample NFGs were mostly male and the surveyed mentors operated relatively large farms and had substantial number of years of experience in sugarcane farming. Nearly 50% of the surveyed NFGs placed more emphasis on soft skills, as one of the significant mentor competences that could enhance mentee-mentor relationships. The sample NFGs also highlighted technical skills such as mentor’s success and substantial farming experience as some of the traits that help mentors establish and sustain successful mentorship interventions. Mentors suggested mentee traits relating to initiative and self-drive.These study results imply that there are generic competencies that mentors and mentees should possess or should be helped to develop before and during mentorship. The results also suggest that mentorship is interdisciplinary in nature and successful interventions may require input from different experts. Policy makers therefore, need to do detailed analysis of participants’ competencies beforehand and empower those that require such


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