Full Project Title: Increased food security and income in the Limpopo Basin through integrated crop, water and soil fertility options and public-private partnerships (PN01)
Smallholder farming communities in the Limpopo Basin of southern Africa, dependent on rain-fed subsistence agriculture on small landholdings, face food insecurity, poverty and ill-health as many parts of the basin are food-deficient and rely on food aid.
The objective of the project was to increase sustainable crop and water productivity and market access of smallholder farmers in the Limpopo Basin by developing and promoting technologies through public-private partnerships.
The project aimed to validate and adapt integrated cereal and legume crop variety and soil management practices that are suitable for resource-poor smallholders in a risk-prone environment with the aim to diversify cropping and livelihood options, maximize crop water productivity, and increase incomes from rain-fed farming systems in the basin.
- Results from reconnaissance surveys identified a number of crop water productivity enhancing technologies in the basin that provided insights to potential investment areas to be undertaken by both government and the private sector to accelerate smallholder development in the Limpopo Province. The information collected was used to identify the sites for on farm testing of crop, soil fertility and water management technologies.
- The baseline surveys found that female-headed households in the basin had limited access to both assets and income and as such, they may not be able to produce enough grain to ensure household food security. Activities to be implemented by the WFCP therefore needed to take the female-headed households as a special category.
- The agro-ecological characterization work ended up geo-referencing of 40 progress Milling depots and which are the market places as input and output market in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
- Farmers in the Limpopo Basin are now convinced to use water-harvesting techniques through training and participatory evaluation.
- The crop species by variety trials carried out with farmers helped farmers identify the best varieties for their respective areas in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Farmers now know that improved varieties of Maize, Sorghum, Pearl Millet and Groundnuts perform better than the local land races in the Limpopo Basin. They are now calling for seed of improved varieties to be readily available for wider adoption in order to increase food availability in the basin.
- The ability of extension staff to layout trials and work closely with farmers was enhanced through training and participating in the PN1 project activities.
Selected publications and outputs
- Moyo, T. 2010. Determinants of participation of smallholder farmers in the marketing of small grains and strategies for improving their participation in the Limpopo River Basin of Zimbabwe. A Theses submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science in Agricultural Economics. Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension & Rural Development Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria.
- Pedzisa, T., Msere, H., Mharapara, I., Pambirei, N., and Minde, I. 2008. Initial assessment of uptake of technologies in three districts in Zimbabwe: Adoption study report.
- Simpungwe, J., T. Pedzisa, M. Masenya and I. Minde. 2008. Marketing small packs of fertilizer in Limpopo Province, South Africa. In Humpreys, E., Bayot, R.S., Van Brackel, M., Gichuki., Svendsen, M., Wester, P., Herber-lee, A., Cook, S., Douthwaite, B., Hoanh, C.T., Nguyen-Khoa, S., Vidal, A., MacIntyre, I., and MacInytre, R. (eds). Fighting poverty through sustainable water use: Volumes I, II, III, and IV. Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. 2nd International Forum on Water and Food. Adis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 10-14, 2008. Pp 194-200.
- Mpandeli S, Simalenga T, Siambi M., Ramugondo R, N. Mailua and L. Konanani. 2008. Constraints and challenges to agricultural development in Limpopo Province, South Africa. In Humpreys, E., Bayot, R.S., Van Brackel, M., Gichuki., Svendsen, M., Wester, P., Herber-lee, A., Cook, S., Douthwaite, B., Hoanh, C.T., Nguyen-Khoa, S., Vidal, A., MacIntyre, I., and MacInytre, R. (eds). 2008. Fighting poverty through sustainable water use: Volume III. Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. 2nd International Forum on Water and Food. Adis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 10-14, 2008. Pp 138-143.
- Evaluation of Adoption of Challenge Program on Water and Food: Techniques Technologies on Smallholder Dryland Farming in Greater Giyani Municipality in Limpopo Province. An MSc thesis by Mrs. M.J. Manganyi, Submitted for Evaluation in September 2010.
- Yield Comparison of Open Pollinated Maize Varieties with Varieties Planted Commonly Used by Farmers in the Limpopo River Basin by Simalenga TE, Mpandeli NS and Phahlane MO. Presented at the Combined Congress from the 20-22 January 2009.
- Effects of Rain Water Harvesting on Maize Yields in Sekhukhune Limpopo Province, South Africa by Phahlane MO, Simalenga TE and Mpandeli NS; paper presented on the 27 to 28 October 2010 at the 11th WaterNET/WARFSA-SA Symposium at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
DAREX, ARC & UZ, CIAT, CIMMYT, Impop&mpum, ICRISAT, INIA, IWMI, LIMPAST RSA
For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.