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Low-cost drip irrigation: on farm implementation in South Africa
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Sub-Saharan Africa, as many parts of the developing world, is facing increasing water shortages. Low-cost drip irrigation technologies can provide small-scale farmers with an affordable mean to increase their agricultural production through more efficient water usage. Benefits of drip systems include increased crop output that can alleviate hunger and generate additional income, water savings, a reduction in labour-intensive hand-irrigation of crops, and flexible systems capable of accommodating a variety of plot sizes. This project was conducted in Enable village, situated in Sekororo, a poor area in northern South Africa. Small-scale rural farmers’ perceptions, attitudes and preferences on low-cost drip irrigation systems were investigated through a series of interviews conducted before, during and following their use of the systems. Responses were analysed to determine the technological, socioeconomic, and cultural suitability of the systems. The farmers demonstrated an interest in and capacity to install and manage the drip systems. They also recognised a noticeable savings in water: time spent irrigating, and associated labour. Constraints of introducing drip irrigation systems to local markets include insufficient knowledge of the full advantages the technology offers, and long distances to markets that inhibit incentive to raise crop production. Successful introduction of drip irrigation systems in rural sub-Saharan Africa will require comprehensive training of farmers and support staffs that are appropriately timed to coincide with the winter season when irrigation is crucial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Low-cost drip irrigation, small-scale farmers, water, scarcity, South Africa, food security, water resource, engineering
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-52153ISRN: LTU-EX--05/151--SELocal ID: 94b719cf-1ddb-443f-a947-4dfc0301e721OAI: diva2:1025520
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Environmental Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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