Pinpointing untapped irrigation potential

Photo credit: IWMI

Irrigation and agricultural development in rural areas of Limpopo Province, South Africa.
Photo: Graeme Williams / IWMI

A baseline for revitalization of smallholder schemes in South Africa

Ambitious efforts are underway in Africa to promote the spread of smallholder irrigation. This work is critical for achieving sustainable intensification of agriculture and for enhancing its resilience in the face of more frequent and severe droughts.

As part of its concerted support for such efforts, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has published a new study – titled Smallholder irrigation schemes in the Limpopo Province, South Africa (Working Paper 174) – which sheds light on the underutilization of these schemes in former “homeland” areas of a key agricultural province. Working in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (LDARD), a team of researchers lead by IWMI principal researcher Barbara van Koppen conducted a survey of 76 public smallholder irrigation schemes. Their purpose was to establish a baseline understanding of key features of these schemes, including smallholders’ perceptions about their limitations.

Read the full article: IWMI

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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