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Best management practices for smallholder farming on two irrigation schemes in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-natal through participatory adaptive research
Expanded Title:The project was a collaborative undertaking by five organisations namely: the Universities of Fort Hare, KwaZulu-Natal, Zululand (which withdrew in 2006), and Pretoria, as well as Zakhe Agricultural Training Institute. It was conducted in the form of two case studies based in Zanyokwe Irrigation Scheme (ZIS) which uses sprinkler irrigation and Tugela Ferry Irrigation Scheme (TFIS) which uses a short-furrow irrigation system. Its main objective was to carry out research in Zanyokwe and Tugela Ferry irrigation schemes with a view to develop and implement technologies and knowledge useful for farmers in order to improve their livelihoods and those of surrounding communities. Participatory research methodologies were employed where the smallholder farmers and other stakeholders were involved in project activities. Important agronomic and socio-economic (including organisational and institutional arrangements) constraints to crop production on the two schemes were identified and action was taken together with the farmers to address the problem. The need for training of extension staff in irrgation management in order to better support farmers was highlighted. The project had a positive impact on the irrigating and non-irrigating communities of Zanyokwe and Tugela Ferry. The participatory implementation of interventions to address identified constraints socio-economic factors and water and crop management factors were to a large extent successful. The findings of the action research agronomic studies clearly indicated that it is possible to significantly improve yields to near-potential levels by simply improving the crop husbandry practices. It is, therefore, recommended that smallholder irrigation scheme revitalisation programs should place (i) capacity building in basic crop and irrigation management practices, and (ii) strengthening institutional/organizational arrangements prominently in their revitalisation agendas in any efforts to improve on the performance of these schemes in South Africa.
Date Published:01/12/2010
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Agricultural Water - Small holder irrigation
Document Keywords:Guidelines
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Technical
WRC Report No:TT 478/10
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0059-7
Authors:Mnkeni PNS; Chiduza C; Modi AT; Stevens JB; Monde N; van der Stoep I; Dladla R
Project Leader:Mnkeni PNS
Project No:K5/1477
Organizations:University of Fort Hare
Document Size:4 186 KB
Attachments:EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TT478-10.pdf
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