Smallholderirrigationschemes in most developing countries, including Zimbabwe have proved to be unsustainable beyond external assistance. The history of smallholderirrigationschemes in Zimbabwe indicate these irrigationschemes suffered considerable neglect and were a mixture of success and failure during the post independence era. Their importance in the semi-arid regions cannot be over emphasized yet they the smallholder farmers do not seem to give them the value they deserve. This study was aimed at unravelling the factors influencing the production levels and the sustainability of smallholderirrigationschemes. Three smallholderirrigationschemes from the southern Eastern Low-veld of Zimbabwe were purposively selected for the study. A total of 130 farmers were interviewed using questionnaires, 11 key informant interviews and 3 Farmer Group Discussions (FGDs) with farmers were conducted in the 3 schemes. The study revealed that farmers had unsustainable sources of livelihood and poor asset base that compromised their capacity to make meaningful investments into the schemes. Production was unsustainably low due to limited access to agricultural inputs (only 40 – 67% of farmers had access to fertilizers and pesticides), inactivity in the input supply chain (the dominance of government and NGOs in the supply chain is biased towards specific farmer groups thus disadvantaging other groups), limited access to irrigation water (due to electricity load shedding and reduced discharge of the Save river in spring) and lack of credit facilities (0% farmers had access to bank loans and 17% accessed loans from input suppliers). The low application rates of fertilizers and the low value crops grown in the scheme showed that the farmers were still to graduate from subsistence to commercial or market oriented agriculture. Poor agricultural output markets prevented farmers from growing some high value crops and were a strong disincentive for commercialising the production in the schemes.
But farmers face constraints that hinder the success of these irrigationschemes. Turral (1995) concedes that most smallholderirrigationschemes are characterized by poor performance while Nyagumbo and Rurinda (2011) echo the same findings. Smallholderirrigationschemes in Zimbabwe are characterized by poor performance despite their importance in agricultural and rural development. As for their viability and sustainability, Dhlodhlo (1997) reports that poor managerial skills by farmers and inadequate inputs are major constraints in Zimbabwe. Moyo et al. (2017) suggest that poor access to farm inputs, effective farm implements, operative markets, agricultural knowledge, and poor infrastructure and soil infertility remain the main barriers to sustainable smallholderirrigationschemes in Zimbabwe. Bjornlund, van Rooyen and Stirzaker (2017) point out poor market access and lack of knowledge as drivers for poor performance of smallholderirrigationschemes in whole of SSA. In addition, most smallholderirrigationschemes in SSA, particularly in Zimbabwe, are located in the rural and arid regions. As such, smallholderirrigationschemes are vital at addressing food security and poverty reduction for rural communities (Samakande, Senzanje, & Manzungu, 2004). Thus, the time is ripe to determine whether the MSA revitalized smallholder irrigations schemes in Zimbabwe.
Farming systems at both schemes are subsistence in nature, with low crop diversity; highly water-dependent maize is the dominant crop. Other crops included groundnuts, sugar beans and wheat. These are predominantly grown for home consumption, with more than 65% of irrigators at both schemes consuming these crops. Low production levels are one of the major sustainabilitychallenges for smallholderirrigationschemes in Zimbabwe (Mutambara & Munodawafa, 2014). yields at Mkoba and Silalatshani reflect this; for example, maize yields are very low (300 kg/ha and 850 kg/ha, respectively), and groundnuts even lower (110 kg/ ha and 200 kg/ha, respectively). yields range between 5% and 15% of potential, which is very low considering that Jacobs et al. (2013) argue that irrigated cropping should achieve approximately 80% of yield potential. Given the small average plot size, these maize yields will provide only 33 kg and 348 kg per household, respectively. Considering that the average household requires 1000 kg of maize per year, there is little chance of producing surplus for sale. Hence, most of the households in Mkoba (75%) and Silalatshani (78%) have experienced food shortages over the last five years, most frequently between September and December. These yields are, however, consistent with other studies that argue that smallholderirrigationschemes in Zimbabwe are characterized by low production, minimal contribution to the national economy and an inability to cover development and operations costs (Manzungu & van der Zaag, 1996; Mutambara & Munodawafa, 2014). This study finds that for maize, inputs such as farmyard manure (415 kg/ha, 287 kg/ha), top-dressing fertilizer (35 kg/ha, 50 kg/ha) and basal fertilizer (26 kg/ha, 40 kg/ha) are minimally applied (figures for Mkoba and Silalatshani, respectively). The application rates of basal and top-dressing fertilizers are far below AGRITeX’s recommended rate of 300–450 kg/ha (FAO, 2006).
This study sought to establish if the market systems approach (MSA) can revitalize smallholderirrigationschemes, using Mutema Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe as a case study. Based on our findings, water shortage which is common to most smallholderirrigationschemes in Zimbabwe and SSA may not be addressed or solved only by rehabilitation of infrastructure alone. There is a need for both the farmers and technical experts managing the schemes to realize that in some cases their irrigation system is not adequate anymore. This was shown in the case of Mutema Irrigation Scheme where an inefficient surface irrigation system was replaced with a more efficient micro-jet irrigation system that conserves water and improves irrigation adequacy. The MSA made financial access by farmers possible resulting in procurement of necessary farming inputs for optimum crop production. The enhanced market access as a result of MSA improved farmers’ income unlike before revitalization where markets were scarce. However, we found that the unilateral output-market system, where farmers sell their agricultural produce to a sole buyer limits the farmers' bargaining power for a good price, yet at the same time, it benefits the buyer. Smallholder farmers should also be involved in pricing their produce. This would enhance trust between buyers and farmers. Failure to involve farmers has a negative bearing on the sustainability of the schemes. Additionally, farmers have to be trained on how markets operate so that they will understand the market forces causing the rise and fall of prices for their produce.
2.6 Factors that influence the performance of smallholderirrigation farming Smallholderirrigationschemes also face conflicting roles in trying to control and provide direction, these roles involve the boards behaving in a different way and the role requires the board to ensure that the organization acts in the interest of its members but the performance role requires them to improve (Nkhoma, 2011). Agriculture is a key sector in the economy because it contribute immensely to agriculture sector itself have been circumvented in the vicious cycle of poverty as they face various agricultural production and marketing challenge (Matabi, 2012). However smallholder farmers have been encouraged to embrace agribusiness various political and economic areas. Similarly agricultural cooperatives have confidence in the cooperative model in improving their livelihoods, they are however displeased with their own poor performance and worried of the high probability of their un-sustainability, specifically agricultural cooperatives worsening performance depict that member have control management and accumulated investment are below the economic optimum.
Received: 23 November 2017 – Revised: 11 February 2018 – Accepted: 14 February 2018 – Published: 29 May 2018 Abstract. Mushandike Irrigation Scheme, constructed in 1939, is located in Masvingo District and is one of the oldest irrigationschemes in Zimbabwe. Since 2002, the scheme has experienced severe water shortages resulting in poor crop yields. The low crop yields have led to loss of income to the smallholder farmers who constitute the irrigation scheme leading to water conflicts. The water stress at the scheme has been largely attributed to climate change and the uncontrolled expansion of the land under irrigation which is currently about 1000 ha against a design area of 613 ha. This study sought to determine the actual causes of water shortage at Mushandike Irrigation Scheme. Hydro-climatic data was analysed to establish if the Mushandike River system generates enough water to guarantee the calculated annual yield of the dam. Irrigation demands and efficiencies were compared against water availability and dam releases to establish if there is any deficit. The Spearman’s Rank Correlation results of 0.196 for rainfall and 0.48 for evaporation confirmed positive but insignificant long- term changes in hydro-climatic conditions in the catchment. Water budgets established that the yield of the dam of 9.2 × 10 6 m 3 year −1 is sufficient to support the expanded area of 1000 ha provided in-field water management efficiencies are adopted. The study concludes that water shortages currently experienced at the scheme are a result of inefficient water management (e.g. over-abstraction from the dam beyond the firm yield, adoption of inefficient irrigation methods and high channel losses in the canal system) and are not related to hydro-climatic conditions. The study also sees no value in considering inter-basin water transfer to cushion the losses being experienced at the scheme.
livelihoods (Waugh 2009). These damages include crop failure, loss of domestic and wild animals, and nutrients being lost in the soil and in extreme cases; this can also lead to the deaths of human beings because of hunger. This, however, shows the need for nations to move away from relying on rain-fed agriculture through adopting irrigation farming where farmers can easily regulate crop water requirement to increase productivity (Fleshman 2007). The available literature also shows that irrigationschemes for smallholder farmers help in relieving farmers from being dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Also, where water is available, farmers have the capacity to easily increase the size of their farmlands as a way of boosting productivity, thereby helping them to accumulate wealth through selling of surplus produce (Muzerengi & Mapuranga 2017). Furthermore, it has been noted that the wealth accumulated because of farming through irrigation will also act as a guarantee to food security in the event of crop failure and that irrigation farming helps in generating employment as well as encouraging farmers to produce an average of 2–3 times a year (Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO] 2000). The development of smallholderirrigationschemes has been found increasing the potential for more production especially through countering the mid-season and periodic dry spells, thus households are able to grow crops more than once in a year (Nhundu & Mashunje 2012. This reflects that irrigation development for smallholder farmers helps in cushioning households in times of food insecurity and at the same time leading to various income-generating activities in the rural economy (FAO 2000). Furthermore, such income- generating activities will, as a result, lead to the creation of off farm employment where livelihoods are earned through selling the agricultural produce from the irrigated land (Muzerengi & Mapuranga 2017).
legislation is increasingly incorporating the requirement to safeguard a water reserve to sustain in stream ecology.
The dominant water resources management challenge over the coming generations is how to secure water to cover food demands of a rapidly expanding world population. This applies especially to developing countries where 95% of the world’s population growth occurs, and most particularly to sub-Saharan Africa, hosting the largest proportion of water scarcity-prone areas as well as the highest levels of malnutrition (Rockstrom et al., 2003). The preconditions to sustainable livelihood improvements are dynamic. The world is continuously experiencing social–ecological changes (van der Leeuw, 2000; McIntosh et al., 2000) that can alter the capacity of ecosystems to generate goods (including food) and services on which society depends (Daily, 1997). Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly clear that diverting more water for agriculture may have serious implications for other water users and water using activities and systems. As shown by Conway (1997) no less than a new Green–green revolution is required, which not only (at least) doubles food production particularly among resource poor rural societies hosted in ecologically vulnerable and degraded landscapes, but also achieves large production increases in agriculture without compromising essential ecological functions. Compared to the previous Green Revolution, which in the 1950s and 60s lifted large parts of Asia and Latin America from imminent risks of large scale food deficits, the challenges at present are even more daunting. Not only will food production have to increase as fast or faster than the first Green Revolution, now the production increase has to occur among poor farming communities often depending on unreliable crop water supply (generally rainfall in semi-arid and dry sub-humid savanna agro-ecosystems) (Falkenmark and Rockstrom, 2004).
2. The need for development framework of smallholderirrigationschemes
Although their role in improving the livelihoods of many farming families in African communities are commendable, smallholderirrigationschemes development have had limited progress in many countries. In many cases, this has been caused partly by lack of technical expertise, poor planning and management, poor operation and maintenance, technical complexities, poor infrastructure, limited knowledge of crop production among smallholders and lack of reliable markets and effective credit services (Biswas, 1986; Mwendera and Chilonda, 2013). A study by Inocencio et al. (2005) analyzed about 314 irrigation projects implemented in 50 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America funded by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). The study showed that failures of past irrigation projects is one of the main reasons for the reluctance of financial and development agencies in investing more resources in irrigation. Another prominent factor that has constrained the economic success of smallholder farmers is the social conflicts seen on many irrigationschemes which has stalled progress and jeopardize sustainability of such schemes. Before considering the potential for further expansion of the area under irrigation by community-based smallholder sector, it is important to acknowledge that social conflicts among community members and local authorities can significantly affect progress and threaten sustainability of smallholder development.Several studies have documented the benefits of irrigation in community development. However, frameworks that integrate both traditional and modern approaches to community development are not popular. Project development financiers now need greater levels of assurance that community-based irrigation development projects will have less risk of failure due to social conflicts.
Smallholderirrigation farming in Zimbabwe was commissioned in 1913, well before the dawn of independence, as a means to mitigate drought (Chazovachii, 2013). It is still commonly practised in drought-prone areas, being seen as the best way of boosting agricultural production and as the panacea to food security at household level. Muir-Leresche (2006) notes that irrigation significantly reduces food insecurity exacerbated by drought and rural dwellers benefit greatly as they produce both for subsistence and the market. It is also believed that smallholderirrigation has the potential to alleviate poverty as it reduces hunger, malnutrition and unemployment (Chazovachii, 2013; Jayne & Rukuni in Manzungu & Van der Zaag, 1996). Irrigationschemes are regarded as the basis for development in communal areas (Manzungu & Van der Zaag, 1996). Not only are irrigationschemes developed in rural areas to reduce food insecurity and poverty but also to empower the rural dwellers (Chazovachii, 2012). Rural communities are afforded the opportunity to engage in activities that improve their livelihoods and well-being. Women, who make up the majority of the rural dwellers, play a pivotal role in irrigated farming (Chancellor, 1997; Chazovachii, 2012). Nonetheless, various writers note that irrigationschemes in Zimbabwe have been characterised by low productivity and have not contributed much to the growth of the
this group, the large maize areas are indicative of the com- mercial orientation of the farms, as the production exceeds average for household consumption. Although, tobacco has higher tillage and labour demand than maize, it is allocated twice the area for maize possibly because it is commercially more profitable. Timeliness of operations, given the large scale of production is, thus ensured through use of hired la- bour. Large cattle numbers point to diversification of en- terprises, which is a key indicator of well-resourced farms where livestock act as a bu ﬀ er to shocks, thus decreasing household vulnerability (Kuivanen et al., 2016). Therefore, in terms of constraints, with hired labour being the main source of labour, these farms may be vulnerable to seasonal changes in labour availability and costs which could im- pact their productivity. On the other hand, mechanisation, draft power and tillage related challenges have little impact on this group. However, intensive crop production and use of highly mechanised systems may exacerbate soil fragility through soil organic matter loss and increase bulk densities due to soil compaction (Chavez et al., 2010); hence adop- tion of practices such as crop residue retention and reduced tillage practices that result in soil organic matter build-up is imperative. This cluster is characterised by household heads that have attained college training, therefore are generally regarded as educated.
Tyefu Irrigation scheme is located 30Km in the western part of Peddi along banks of the lower Great Fish River in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa (Sishuta, 2005). The Scheme was using approximately 25km of the Great Fish River waters that served five sections. These sections include Ndlambe, Pikoli, Ndwayana, Kaliken and Glenmore, respectively. In 1997 the scheme was reported to cover approximately 694 hectares with a future potential of expansion to 1000 hectares of irrigated land. The area is faced with multiple agricultural challenges which include intensive droughts, low soil fertility, irregular rain fall, poor water quality, high rates of evaporation, and extreme temperatures. Communities surrounding Tyefu irrigation scheme lack access to credit/finance support and extension services, and poor infrastructures that limit movement of produce from farms to markets. Soil erosion and veld degradation makes land unsuitable for farming. Sishuta (2005) reported that Tyefu area has a potential of commercial crop production though more suitable for extensive and semi-intensive livestock production.
This study explored the production and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in irrigationschemes in South Africa. The particular focus has been on the farming styles of smallholder farmers, the impact of irrigation scheme production on their income and livelihoods, and the issue of smallholder social differentiation. The New Forest irrigation scheme located in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality was used as a case study. The research methodology utilized a combination of extensive and intensive research designs. The farming style approach was compared with the livelihood strategies approach to determine the relationship between the farmers’ approach to farming and their livelihood development trajectory. The underlying assumption is that small-scale irrigation has the potential to make a positive contribution to the livelihoods of farmers. New Forest irrigation farmers face a number of challenges at the irrigation scheme such as neglect by government, inadequate irrigation water, and access to affordable crops inputs. The farmers were not organised to be able to purchase inputs, engage in co-operative marketing, and manage the irrigation scheme. The notion of investing in smallholderirrigationschemes in order to convert smallholders into commercial farmers is unrealistic. Those that were classified as ‘food farmers’, benefit from irrigation development and participation through meeting their household consumption needs. Those classified as ‘employers’, obtained negative gross margins per plot and hired most farm labour. Diversification by employers into other less risky livelihood activities on- farm and off-farm is an option. The ‘profit makers’, make high returns from crop production, and obtained the highest gross margins per plot. This thesis argues that support to farmers in smallholderirrigationschemes should be provided in the context of their farming objectives, and livelihood aspirations which are not only varied but evolve across time and individual circumstances.
Projects that are planned with full farmer participation perform better than those that are planned by experts on their own do. Projects planned by consultants have operational problems.Projects that are viewed by farmers as being their projects perform better than projects that are viewed by them as belonging to the government. Government managed schemes have operation and maintenance problems because of budgetary constraints.Water management is good on farmer managed schemes, for fear of high electricity bills, and poor at government managed schemes, since they do not pay the costs. The finding of this study shows that traditional irrigationschemes in Sanka area have a better performance than government sponsored schemes at Alwoha and Gimbora. Factors, which determine the performance of irrigationschemes, are identified as farmers’ group cohesion, strength of the water committee, location proximity of the schemes to people’s home, past experience of farmers in irrigation agriculture and farmers commitment to undertake intensive agriculture. Social cohesion among irrigators and effectiveness of water committee to enforce group by-laws are found to be an essential element of good performed schemes. Irrigation households have been able to produce two times a year using the irrigation water. Source; secondary data collected from East Wollega Irrigation Authority office 2014.
As shown in the preceding section, smallholder poultry keeping has potential to improve the incomes of poor people in developing countries. With the “Bangladesh Poultry Model” initially leading the way, many development interventions have sought to use poultry as a means of economic empowerment (Askov Jensen, 1999; Islam, 2003). However, in order to fully understand the potential of village or free-range poultry production to support small- holder livelihoods, we must also appreciate the social and cultural roles that poultry plays. Poultry – whether chickens, ducks, guinea fowl or other species – serves multiple pur- poses within smallholder communities, apart from those of a strictly economic or nutritious nature. Birds and eggs are traded and consumed. But this is not simply a matter of food. In this section we examine the range of motives for smallholders to keep and raise poultry. For example, birds are given away as gifts, they are sacrificed to ancestors and divinities, or they are consumed as part of ritual and secular celebrations – thereby strengthening important social bonds. In some societies, chickens may be used to foretell the future through divina- tion rites. As such, poultry play an important cultural and social roles as well as being used to meet individual economic goals
practising CA and if their use is managed well, they give considerable returns to crop- livestock systems. Maintenance of a permanent soil surface cover gives better benefits than when the residue is removed during the off-season. Smallholder farmers find permanent soil cover difficult or almost impossible to maintain due to the competition for crop residue for different household uses. The full benefits of the uses of crop residues as soil surface cover are not fully realised because the residues are removed at some point during the dry season. Cropping systems that supplement biomass such as intercropping reduce pressure on the crop residues and hence making it almost possible for permanent soil cover to be attained. The use of a fence to keep cattle out of the fields could be a considerable option since this ensures that crop residue are not grazed or moved thereby maintaining a permanent soil surface cover throughout the entire year. If wire fences are expensive farmers may also use live fences where they plant fast growing, thorny bushes or vines (e.g. Bougainvillea spp) around their fields to keep livestock out of their fields (Wall, 2009). Organic repellents are another affordable option that can protect crop residue from livestock grazing during the dry season. Measures that protect crop residues from being removed from the fields need to be considered as part of the CA farming system package for the benefits of the system to be fully realised.
fertilizers, timeliness of operations like planting, frequent weed control, and timely fertilizer application. There is potential for even greater yield responses given a favorable rainfall season.
While the season had normal to above-normal rainfall in the survey districts, the planted area is not enough to meet household food requirements to next harvest for most districts. Figure 5 shows the contribution of conservation agriculture to household food security. Assuming that an average household of six people requires 900kg of cereal in a year and does not have cash to access the market to buy grain, only farmers in Murehwa, Mt Darwin, Gokwe South, Masvingo, Chivi, Nkayi, Hwange, Chipinge, and Binga are likely to meet food security requirements till the next season. The proportional contribution of conservation agriculture to total cereal grain production was more than 50% only in Bindura, Masvingo, and Seke. The rest of the areas indicate more production on conventional draft tillage plots.
In Maluku province, Ceram Island and Buru Island were selected as the main agricultural areas to support the provincial food security policy, in terms of both crop and livestock production, based on the regulation no. 421/2005 (GoMP, 2005). The development paths are based on the project of distributing Bali cattle directly to two different ethnic groups on Ceram Island. They are indigenous farmers who live as crop farmers, livestock keepers and fishermen (Lebel, 1999), and transmigrant farmers who came gradually since 1954 as part of a national transmigration project, settled on the Island and live as food crop farmers mainly producing rice and later became cattle keepers. This project aimed to increase beef production in the province in order to fulfill the increasing market demand (Attamimi, 2003). The fact that the province is composed by islands and is rich in water resources did not deny the importance of beef production in the province. Beef production, dominated by Bali cattle was meant to reach the provincial consumption target of 4.5 kg meat/capita/year in Maluku by 2012 from 2.7 kg/capita/year in 2002 (Dinas Pertanian Provinsi Maluku, 2005), to complement the protein consumption from fish of 4.0 kg/capita/year (Martianto et al., 1993). The Central Bureau of Statistics of Maluku Province (2010) reported the increasing demand for beef from 1.6 ton in 2000 to 3.8 ton in 2007. The high demand for Bali cattle in recent years on local and regional markets to provide meat created pressure on their population, leading to a selling of cattle. Decisions for selling animals were taken to realise immediate gains rather than applying a long-term management. Consequently, the population of Bali cattle decreased from 76,864 heads in 2004 to 70,402 heads (CBS, 2010). Hence, strategies and interventions should be developed in favour of a sustainable increase of the production by analysing the production systems, taking into account the national commitments to the principles of sustainable development, and then focussing attention towards resource efficiency, environmental and sustainable production issues (Hadi et al., 2002).
Lake Ziway is the water source of the Ziway Irrigation Scheme. Water is pumped and diverted to the scheme using centrifugal pumps. The water delivery infrastructure includes, open channel, pipelines, lined canals, and unlined canals. The type of water control equipment used is of a fixed proportional division, and a manually operated gate. The location of water control and discharge measurement equipment is at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The type of discharge measurement facilities in use are calibrated sections. The type of irrigation scheduling used is of a constant amount, and varied frequency (modified frequency rotation), where irrigation water is applied every 5 days for shallow-rooted crops and every 10 days for deep-rooted crops. The predominant on-farm irrigation practice is surface (furrow) irrigation but abandoned sprinkler and drip irrigation systems also exist. Tree crops like papaya, avocado, grape vine and banana are cultivated using the basin irrigation method. The availability of water is sufficient, but the possible reason for inadequate water supply at tailend of the canals is due to sediment deposition and vegetation growth in canals.
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Kenyan smallholder cotton production has remained low despite the spirited effort to revive the sector. Several factors combined seem to be responsible for this perpetual low production. Among the factors are constraints ranging from, inadequate extension services, limited access to information on production and poor marketing systems. The purpose of this study was to investigate how seed cotton marketing influence cotton production among smallholder farmers in Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme. The study utilized descriptive survey research design to collect data from farm households, while secondary data was collected from government agencies in the Scheme. The study population was all smallholder cotton farmers in Bura Irrigation Scheme. Proportionate simple random sampling method was used to select 120 farmers who were included in the study. Descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyze the data using Statistical Package for Social Science version 20.0. The findings showed that on channels of marketing, all the respondents sell their seed cotton individually.