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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → 2022 → The impact of smallholder irrigation schemes on poverty reduction among rural households of Vhembe and Sekhukhune Districts in Limpopo Province, South Africa

University of Limpopo (2022)

The impact of smallholder irrigation schemes on poverty reduction among rural households of Vhembe and Sekhukhune Districts in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Baloi, Vutomi Arone

Titre : The impact of smallholder irrigation schemes on poverty reduction among rural households of Vhembe and Sekhukhune Districts in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Auteur : Baloi, Vutomi Arone

Université de soutenance : University of Limpopo

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Agriculture. (Agricultural Economics) 2022

Résumé
Many researchers in different parts of the world have advocated the use of irrigation water to reduce levels of poverty, especially among rural households. This is made possible through the development of irrigation schemes in these areas and giving the necessary support to these farmers. If this is done sufficiently, irrigation schemes` participants are sure to realise improved livelihoods and poverty reduction. However, different communities are faced with different challenges and are subjected to rules and norms applied in their respective communities. On one hand, farmers are individuals who also have personal beliefs and characteristics that may be critical in determining the success of their irrigation schemes. On the other hand, certain characteristics (e.g., unequal distribution of water and land) can be inherited as challenges by farmers in such communities, making it difficult to overcome and thus posing threats to the success of irrigation schemes. A purposive-multistage technique together with a simple random sampling were used to sample 300 smallholder farmers from the Vhembe and Sekhukhune districts of Limpopo Province. An analysis of data was done using a combination of analytic techniques such as the Binomial Logit, Principal Component Analysis, Multiple Regression Analysis, Poverty Indices and the Women Empowerment Agriculture Index. The latter was employed to examine whether or not there are efforts by the irrigation schemes to empower women. The main aim was to analyse the contribution and impact that irrigations schemes have on poverty reduction among smallholder farmers. There was also a need to consider the role that positive psychological capital may play in uplifting the hope, confidence, resilience and optimism by farmers in their irrigation schemes. The results revealed that women’s participation was high (58%) in the irrigation schemes as compared to men. However, this did not mean that women were empowered automatically. After administering the Women Empowerment Agriculture Index, it was found that women are actually disempowered in three (out of five) indicators that were used as a measure of empowerment. Meanwhile, most farmers who used irrigation, saw their livelihoods improve and their poverty status improve too. Irrigation was able to increase their yields, incomes, employment, and other household assets. It was again proven that positive psychological capital played a significant role in reducing poverty. However, factors such as lack of capital assets, social grants, illiteracy, old age, lack of vocational training and risk aversion in some instances contributed to poverty. In order to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, the government and other relevant bodies should see to it that agricultural extension services are improved and include vocational training for these farmers together with the provision of market information and business training. This may help farmers realise the importance of farming as a business and not relying on government for everything they need. A larger share of income for most farmers came from social grants and remittances. This is likely to have a negative impact on the success of irrigation schemes. Therefore, farmers need to be trained for self-reliance. The need to promote women’s participation in decision-making for water management and also suggests ways in which women’s access to water can be improved through equitable development cannot be overemphasised. There is also a need to conduct a study on the measurement and role of psychological capital in rural livelihoods using other methods such as revealed preference approach, experimental economics and behavioural economics.

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Page publiée le 21 janvier 2023