The increasing complexity of African agriculture has put greater pressure on agricultural education and extension. The important role played by agricultural extension has led many African governments to devote a lot of resources to agricultural extension. This however is at odds with the increasing fiscal deficits and the rampant poor governance of public programs in these countries. As a result attention has been redirected towards making extension less burdensome to the governments and relevant to farmer needs. In Zimbabwe, while several studies have concentrated on describing the operation and effectiveness of the current government dominated extension system, insignificant work has gone into finding out the potential for the establishment of a private and fee for service extension system. The main objective of this paper was to find the factors determining the establishment of a private “fee- for-service” extension system in Zimbabwe’s smallholder agriculture and to give recommendations on the possible prime movers to a private, commercial agricultural extension system for smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. A logistic regression model of binary choice was used as the major analytical tool. The study found out that the degree of commercialisation of farm enterprises, farmer income, farmer location (whether urban, rural or commercial), farm size, and risk attitude of the farmer significantly affect the demand for private fee-for-service extension and it was concluded that these variables should be considered when targeting farmers for provision of commercial extension services.
Keywords: Commercialisation, Excludability, Fee-For-Service Extension, Logit Model, Risk, Subtractability