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UK Research and Innovations (2019)

Supporting transformative adaptation and building equitable resilience to drought for sustainable development

Resilience Drought Development

Titre : Supporting transformative adaptation and building equitable resilience to drought for sustainable development

Pays/Région : Four case-study catchments in South Africa (SA) and Kenya (KE) ; The Breede Gouritz (Western Cape, SA), The Groot Letaba (Limpopo, SA), The upper Ewaso Ng’iro (Mount Kenya, KE), and Lake Naivasha (Nakuru, KE).

Durée : nov. 19 - févr. 23

Référence projet : ES/T003006/1
Catégorie : Research Grant

Résumé partiel
Achieving sustainable agricultural transformation is an international policy development priority. Growing high-value crops for export has been shown to generate substantive positive socio-economic impacts for the producing regions. The industry supports small-scale farmers and out-growers and provides secure employment and incomes for large numbers of people (especially women) in the primary production, packing and distribution sectors leading to higher and more stable revenues and positive impacts on the standard of workers’ health, though better nutrition, access to appropriate food and education, whilst also providing greater job security. Increased smallholder agricultural production has also been shown to generate positive welfare effects and result in direct, as well as indirect, impacts on local livelihoods. The favourable climate and soils of many low and middle income countries (LMICs) opens opportunities to expand the export horticulture sector to meet the global demand for fruits and vegetables to support healthy diets.

Most export horticultural production in LMICs is irrigated and is increasingly moving into more arid areas and using water drawn from rivers, dams and aquifers that would otherwise be available for supporting natural habitats and environmental flows, underpinning smallholder agriculture and urban development, and for hydropower and industry. When the demand for water (from all sectors, including the environment) within a catchment, or from an aquifer, exceeds the available supply (hydrological drought) the impacts do not fall equally on all sectors due to power inequalities. For example, the economic and political power vested in the commercial horticultural sector may secure priority over water supplies ; contractual obligations for produce for export may reduce availability and quality and increase prices in local markets ; and low skilled workers in the horticultural sector may be laid-off when production falls. Thus the impacts on the poor and marginalised communities are exacerbated. Whilst drought is a natural occurrence, its frequency and magnitude are increasing due to climate change and increased water demand, particularly for domestic water and sanitation, and export horticulture will further exacerbate the vulnerability of poor and marginalised communities.

Lead Research Organistion : Cranfield University

Financement : Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Budget  : £942 398

UK Research and Innovations

Page publiée le 31 août 2022, mise à jour le 2 septembre 2022