A majority of rural smallholder farmers in the Limpopo Basin still live in poverty, despite being within some of the most developed countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Low and highly variable rainfall combined with inadequate policy and investment context and inappropriate technology transfers limit sustainable transitions out of poverty. Researchers, practitioners and farmers have identified approaches to manage rainfall for agriculture in efficient and productive ways from field to basin scales. Yet successful targeting and scaling out of appropriate interventions remains a challenge.
The L1 project will undertake research for development within the Limpopo Basin Development Challenge of improving integrated management of rainwater to improve smallholder productivity and livelihoods and reduce risk. L1 ”Targeting and scaling out” will develop an evidence and knowledge-based tool to assess and map the likelihood that a given intervention will be successful in given locations, at the basin scale. The project seeks to answer the question of what works where and why. The project seeks to answer the question of what works where and why leading to greater impact from localised successes within the Limpopo basin.
The tool is intended for non-expert users and will be available via the Internet and on CD, and through trainings during the project. This tool improves on existing models in two ways: first, by using a Bayes network modelling approach, the tool helps users account for uncertainties in joining data and information layers. It also enables inclusion of various sources of expertise in a spatial manner. Secondly, the tool includes dimensions of social and human capital known to be important for adoption and uptake of improved agricultural water management strategies among smallholder farmers, thus providing more realistic decision support. These innovative features and on-going consultation with end-users will help ensure that this project contributes to the LBDC challenge and delivers frontline research and capacity building.
Dr Jennie Barron (firstname.lastname@example.org).