Water use productivity and food security among smallholder homestead food gardening and irrigation crop farmers in North West province, South Africa

Christopher Tshwene, Idowu Oladele


The study analysed water use productivity among smallholder homestead food gardening and irrigation crop farmers in the North West province, South Africa. Home gardening and irrigation constitute the most important rural development investment strategies that can have direct impact on poverty and food security. Using a large sample size technique of n>30, 160 gardeners were selected for the study. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire and subjected to analysis using SPSS. Frequency counts and percentages were used to describe demographics. Multiple regressions were also used to identify determinants.
The independent variables were significantly related with an F value of 3.074, P < .05. Also, an R value of 0.506 showed that there is a strong correlation between socio-economic characteristics and water use productivity. The results further predicted R Square 26% of the variation in water use productivity. Five out of sixteen were significant, with three variables being significant at 5% (type of crop, social participation and market outlet) while two variables were significant at 10% (home food security and attitude).
Significant determinants of water use productivity were type of cropping (t =-2.443, P =.016), social participation (t =2.599, P = .010), marketing outlets (t = 2.810, P = .006), home food security (t=-1.777, P = .078) and attitude (t = -1.727, P = .086). The results imply that the higher attitude, marketing, home food security, social participation and type of crop, the higher the use of water productivity among farmers. However, insignificant determinants of water use productivity were farming experience (t = 0.571, p=0.569), education (t = -1.048, p = 0.296), land ownership (t = -1.416, p = 0.159) and age (t = -0.782, p = 0.436). The results imply that the lower the farming experience, education skill, land ownership and age, the lower the water productivity use among farmers.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20161.399