Strategies for increasing water productivity among farmers in Taung Irrigation scheme of North West Province, South Africa - Oladele O.I and Tekena S.S, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North-west University Mafikeng, South Africa

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  • 1. Strategies for increasing water productivity among farmers in Taung irrigation scheme of North West province, South Africa Oladele O.I and Tekana, S.S Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, Mmabatho, South Africa [email_address]
  • 2. Introduction
    • Agriculture accounts for a high proportion of the GDP in South African economy
    • South Africa is not only self-sufficient in food, but a net exporter.
    • Very low average rainfall and high variability within and between seasons, predispose vulnerability to drought.
  • 3. Introduction
    • The North West Province is located in the semi-arid and arid regions with predominant agricultural activities
    • The prevailing climatic conditions stressed the need for irrigation
    • Two irrigation schemes were located in the province
  • 4. Taung Irrigation Scheme
    • Taung irrigation scheme was established in 1939 and covers1054 ha
    • Almost 200 farmers used the plots for subsistence crops production
    • About 75% is under centre pivot and about 25% irrigated by conventional sprinkler system
  • 5. South African irrigation policy
    • Much of South Africa’s past water legislation was largely oriented towards irrigated commercial agriculture.
    • In 1998, the system of allocation of water rights based upon the riparian principle was replaced by permissible uses, general authorizations and licenses.
    Ground water potential Water transfers Water transfers
  • 6. The Problem
    • In 1994, the Taung irrigation scheme was reported to have deteriorated and some farms had been abandoned.
    • Farmers had to make decisions regarding the use of the scheme themselves.
    • There was a major shift in government support/services to the scheme.
    • In view of these some of the participating farmers could not cope.
  • 7. Objective and Methodology
    • To determine the interventions strategies for increasing water productivity among farmers in Taung irrigation scheme of North West Province, South Africa
    • A qualitative approach (Focus Group Discussions) was used to elicit information from farmers
    • Focus group discussions were held with 5 farmers groups with 10 farmers in each group
  • 8. Results I
    • The strategies for increasing water productivity include:
    • Socio-economic characteristics - Training on input use, record keeping and computer use
    • Forming farmers into cooperatives such that farmers on the irrigation scheme are relating their production more closely to market demand and organizing effective supply markets
    • Contract farming scheme used by agribusiness firms and retailers to secure supply of agricultural commodities from farmers
  • 9. Results II
    • Allocation of extension officers - Farmers in the irrigation scheme are benefiting from the National Extension recovery implementation plan through the facilitation of access to extension
    • Micro-Agricultural Finance initiative of South Africa ( MAFISA ) Farmers on the irrigation scheme were organized to benefiting from MAFISA services.
    • Provision of ICT: Training on the use of computers had been conducted and computers made available for their use by the Department of Agriculture Conservation and Environment through the extension section .
  • 10. Conclusion
    • The interventions described above have led to better access to the once neglected land on the irrigation scheme and there is a renaissance of the original purposes for the establishment of the scheme.
    • These strategies had helped to improve the productivity of water from the irrigation scheme and the farmers are better for it
  • 11.
    • Thanks for your attention