Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → 2018 → An investigation into the performance of smallholder irrigation schemes in Limpopo Province, South Africa : success factors, typologies and implications for development

Rhodes University (2018)

An investigation into the performance of smallholder irrigation schemes in Limpopo Province, South Africa : success factors, typologies and implications for development

Denison, Jonathan Anthony Noel

Titre : An investigation into the performance of smallholder irrigation schemes in Limpopo Province, South Africa : success factors, typologies and implications for development

Auteur : Denison, Jonathan Anthony Noel

Université de soutenance : Rhodes University

Grade : Doctor Philosophiae 2018

Résumé
The research aimed to determine the factors that contribute to the success or failure of smallholder irrigation schemes in the Limpopo Province. It focussed on public-schemes where farmers share the water system Limpopo Province has more than half of the smallholder irrigation schemes in the country with an equipped area of approximately 28 000 ha. The main aims of the research were to identify key factors that explain performance and to develop a contemporary irrigation scheme typology. The research intended to provide a better perspective on how to focus investments across the multiple thematic areas that are associated with sustained and profitable irrigation farming activity. A survey of 102 irrigation schemes was conducted, comprising 82% of the population of schemes greater than 20 ha in Limpopo Province. The quantitative survey complemented prior in-depth qualitative research undertaken on Limpopo schemes. Data was consolidated into five performance indicators and 13 characteristic factors that impact performance. Schemes were viewed as technical and socio-biological systems where performance was determined by the dynamic interaction of multiple factors. The analysis was done in a complex systems framework using correlation, cluster and principle component analysis. It was postulated that over-arching concepts of productivity, profitability and manageability would explain why schemes succeed or fail. The schemes were found to be relatively very small in size with three quarters (74.8%) of them falling in the 50 to 250 ha size range, and only 11 schemes larger than 250 ha. Average plot sizes were 1.34 ha with a wide range between 0.18 and 16.25 ha. There were 65 operational schemes (equivalent to 63.7%), and 37 had failed (equivalent to 36.3%). Using a criterion for success of greater than 50% cropping intensity (to align with other studies and below which schemes can be considered to have failed), the success rate of the Limpopo schemes was 58%. The result was similar to the rest of South Africa and the same as the average rate for SADC identified in other studies using the same criterion. The schemes exhibited a mixed production purpose on average, with a significant market emphasis indicating these schemes have largely evolved from ‘food schemes’ to partly market-farming. Main crops grown were summer-maize and winter fresh-vegetables and cropping intensities on operational schemes ranged widely from 10% to 175%, with an average of 94%. Failure was associated with three dominant factors : energy type ; infrastructure condition ; and water resource constraints. The first two factors showed that manageability of technology was important.

Présentation (SEALS)

Version intégrale

Page publiée le 29 mars 2020