Determinants of water interventions for smallholder agricultural activities in Limpopo province-south Africa

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University of Dar es Salaam
In agriculture-based rural livelihoods water plays a central role in the provision of food security and other ecosystem services, as is the case in Limpopo Province. Smallholder agriculture production is constrained by water which is inadequately availability that renders rural areas as hot-spots of high poverty. Water provides a focal point around which other interventions can be organized. The study aimed to identify smallholder water related interventions, the forces (biophysical, institutional and socio-economic), and key actors that determine growth of smallholder agriculture through increased production and reduced poverty in Limpopo Province. To realize the objectives of the study four smallholder agricultural projects were used as case studies and were mainly implemented by LDA and the government institutions being the main benefactor. Questionnaires, interviews and literature review were used as data collection tools. The results provided information related to interventions, institutions and organization, demographic, socio-economic and agricultural characteristics as well as policies that have influenced the operation of smallholder farmers. Farmers acknowledged improvement in production and recognize the provision of service by extension officers as one factor that enhances success of water interventions. Market access is critical for success, although smallholder farmers have challenges in accessing the formal markets individually. In conclusion, collective action is to be encouraged to strengthen smallholders’ market position, bargaining power and lobbying power. Concerted efforts from stakeholders with regard to provision of support services for smallholder agriculture are necessary for achieving high productivity and poverty reduction.
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Irrigation farming, Limpopo province, South Africa
Dlamini, M.C. (2012).Determinants of water interventions for smallholder agricultural activities in Limpopo province-south Africa. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (