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Accueil du site → Master → Pays Bas → 2018 → A participatory design approach to irrigation systems for individual smallholder farmers using alluvial groundwater [A case of the semi-arid Mzingwane catchment, Zimbabwe]

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2018)

A participatory design approach to irrigation systems for individual smallholder farmers using alluvial groundwater [A case of the semi-arid Mzingwane catchment, Zimbabwe]

Mawoyo, Tanyaradzwa Amanda

Titre : A participatory design approach to irrigation systems for individual smallholder farmers using alluvial groundwater [A case of the semi-arid Mzingwane catchment, Zimbabwe]

Auteur : Mawoyo, Tanyaradzwa Amanda

Université de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2018

Résumé
In context of poverty alleviation and ensuring food security for rural households in semi-arid areas, this study’s main purpose was to co-develop irrigation designs with individual smallholder farmers using alluvial groundwater. In order to do this, the research was done in Mzingwane Catchment in Zimbabwe ; the catchment has underutilized extensive alluvial aquifers which can be used for irrigation purposes. The study starts off by looking at the existing systems, to evaluate how the individual smallholder farmers are accessing and using alluvial groundwater for irrigation purposes. It looks at the technologies that are being used and the factors that are affecting the choice of technologies. The study looked at the challenges being faced by the individual smallholder farmers as well as their coping mechanisms to those challenges. The study sought to find ways in which the smallholder farmers can sustainably access alluvial groundwater for irrigation purposes. The study then uses a participatory design approach to develop irrigation designs with farmers’ input. Three different irrigation methods ; flood, sprinkler and drip were used in the study. There were three different design options for each irrigation method namely flexi-, semi-flexi- and sturdy ; which were mainly based on time that the farmer is available on the field. Different energy sources were also explored in this study and these were diesel, petrol and solar. The study further gives the estimated initial investment costs for each preference that the farmers may choose, which range from dollar2000 to dollar12000 for a 0.5ha plot, depending on the irrigation method, design and energy source. The study then concludes that choice of technology that is used in the access and use of alluvial groundwater largely depends on the initial investment costs and the knowledge that the individual farmers have. The study also concludes that farmers who are currently using alluvial groundwater have no problems with water shortage, water is always available even in a drought season. The study also concludes that although the lack of support and involvement of external agencies in their enterprises leaves a knowledge gap in agronomy and technology, it gives the farmers the freedom to choose their own technologies to use and crops to grow. The study recommends capacity building of individual smallholder farmers in the form of trainings on each of the challenges that they are facing ; particularly on market research techniques and crop production and management. For the Shashani project, the study recommends that the farmers start with simpler irrigation systems or smaller areas for their production because they lack experience in irrigated agriculture. The study also recommends further studies on smart business models that can be explored to ensure that the smallholder enterprises thrive.

Sujets  : groundwater irrigation systems smallholder irrigation agriculture Zimbabwe

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Page publiée le 1er avril 2021