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(KSA 4) Water Utilisation in Agriculture  

THRUST 3: Water Utilisation For Poverty Reduction And Wealth Creation In Agriculture


The direction and driving force for research activities and outputs are determined by the strategic focus to improve the knowledge of the management processes undertaken by people who are using water.

Poverty, hunger and malnutrition amongst rural people are widely recognised as major problems. These members of rural communities, consisting mainly of women, children and the elderly, are also disadvantaged or marginalised for various social, economic and political reasons. A wide-ranging programme is required to support the sustainable development of rangeland livestock, rain-fed and irrigated crop production. Efficient use of water through a combination of agricultural activities can contribute to improving living conditions. Empowerment of rural people can be promoted further through participatory action research which improves knowledge, farming skills and leadership capabilities.

Commercial farming is a major user of water resources and faces a particular challenge to ensure that this share of water is used effectively and efficiently. There is invariably a close link between efficient use and allocation of water and whole-farming profitability. Water management on farms is also time-dependent and based on incomplete knowledge of changes in the weather, prices and technology. Under these circumstances modelling is a powerful tool to provide decision-support and management advice. The focus in this programme is therefore on developing procedures, methods and models to provide advice to farmers on best management practices and the optimal combination of crop and livestock enterprises within the constraints of water, land and capital resources.

This thrust includes two programmes:

  • Sustainable water-based agricultural activities in rural communities

  • Integrated water management for profitable farming systems  

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