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Research > Research theme priorities

Limpopo River Benchmark Basin > Research > Research theme priorities

At the Limpopo benchmarh Basin kick-off workshop research needs were identified for each theme that could be grouped together and put into required research outputs. Five objectives were identified as necessary, not only to increase food production, but also to enable development in a holistic way in all sectors. This approach is necessary as water is a particularly scarce resource and if allocated wrongly only a few will benefit (maybe with enough food). Many will remain in poverty, not able to even buy food and thus still experiencing hunger. The identified objectives address the: Direct the needs of the farmer Management (governance) and policies regarding Agricultural water-use Governance of water in the broader multi-sectorial water-use system Alignment of agricultural production and the environment Enabling environment

The identified research needs do not only address one objective; directly or indirectly they may address others too.

Research impact
A value is given to provide an indication of the possible impact of each research output on alleviating hunger and poverty, considering the circumstances within the basin: No impact: 0

Small impact: Medium impact: Large impact: Research objectives Research objective 1 Research objective 2 Research objective 3 Research objective 4 Research objective 5

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Home About us FAQs Limpopo Basin Profile Current CPWF Limpopo projects Research Research theme priorities Research objective 1 To increase the technical biological and economic efficiency of agricultural production under rain-fed and irrigation farming. Crop water productivity improvement Water and people in catchments Aquatic ecosystems & fisheries Integrated basin water management systems Global and national food and water system Limpopo Basin database and information (not yet active) Links Contact us CPWF NEWSLETTER Water & Food Monthly

Research outputs needed Data basises on collated and synthesised baseline research information, physical data and farming practices and crops Techniques and guidelines to promote, disseminate and implement appropriate technologies and methods Small scale irrigation system efficiencies determined Optimised use of rainfall in (small scale) irrigation systems Technologies for optimising the use of rainfall (conservation farming practises) in rain fed agriculture Research guidelines and decision support systems regarding crop productivity and risk management Cost effective water saving technologies Decision support and management tools for irrigation practices Guidelines and decision support systems regarding off season and drought resistant cropping patterns and selection Alternative / innovative systems for storing and using water developed A groundwater recharge model developed Guidelines to promote efficient irrigation systems and water use Inventory of existing agricultural information and databases Invetory of soils and land use patterns

Possible impact 2 3 1 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 3


Research objective 2 To provide management (governance) and policy guidelines regarding agricultural water management and use.

Research outputs needed Appropriate risk management strategies for the basin Scenarios developed for identifying future challenges to be addressed Analysis of impact of water use strategies, climate change and quality on agriculture Strategies to implement new technologies

Possible impact 3 3 3 3

Information support systems required for appropriate strategic and policy development Appropriate policies and management strategies for agricultural risk management Appropriate policies and strategies for capacity building Appropriate policies and management strategies for agricultural development planning Appropriate policy guidelines for participative and sustainable agricultural development and (risk) management

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Research objective 3 To promote efficient governance of optimizing water allocation and use within a holistic multi sectorial water use system, in order to increase job opportunities and reduce poverty. Research outputs needed Current hydrological models evaluated and adapted Improved water demand management Appropriate policies and strategies for developing alternative sources of income Optimal allocation of water to different water use sectors to alleviate poverty Mechanisms and requirements developed for cross basin coordination of water use and management . It must be noted that the Limpopo Basin Commission has been established in the mean time, taking already specific initiatives Possible impact 1 2 3 3

Research objective 4 To provide technologies and management systems to align agricultural production with environmental impacts and requirements including climate change risks and environmental protection.

Research outputs needed


impact Impact of irrigation practices on land and water degradation determined Impact of land use changes, soil degradation, water quality, invasive plants and runoff determined Water quality monitoring and information system evaluated and improved Policy and management guidelines developed for integrated and sustainable aquatic ecosystem development (including river banks, flood plains and wetlands) The socio and economic value and potential of aquaculture and aquatic resources assessed Measures developed to control the spread of invasive fish and plant species The socio and economic value and potential of estuarine and coastal ecosystems assessed Data bases on natural aquatic resources and activities affecting the hydrology Methods developed for assessing environmental requirements (it must be mentioned that quite a lot of work has already been done in South Africa in this field) Flood warning systems developed Tools and methodologies developed to monitor and asses impacts and productivity of aquatic systems The value and impact of floods determined Guidelines developed for the sustainable use of aquatic recourses 2 1 1 3 3 2 2 2 1 3 2 2 3 top

Research objective 5 To provide guidelines for an (global) environment to enhance agricultural development with an emphasis on the resource-poor. Research outputs needed Guidelines on institutional structures Appropriate policies and strategies for support services and markets Contribution of different farming activities in alleviating poverty and hunger determined Identified options to improve agricultural profitability Possible impact 3 3 3 3

User friendly economic models and decision support tools to evaluate risks, alternative land use patterns and development opportunities

Research > Research theme 4: Integrated basin water management systems

Limpopo River Benchmark Basin > Research > Research theme 4

A single water basin can be home to millions of people providing their inhabitants with water for drinking, crop irrigation, transportation, electricity, recreation , fish production and more. How water is used in one location profoundly influences the quantity and quality of water available in other locations. Theme 4 research will create a framework for managing water basins as a whole one that takes into account diverse uses of water and multiple administrative jurisdictions. At the highest level, this research will look at practical ways to integrate natural systems, which influence the availability and quality of land and water resources, and human systems, which set priorities for development, allocation and use of water resources. Poverty, health, food security and environmental concerns linked to water and its use will be addressed under five broad areas of investigation that pose the biggest challenges for integrated water management. Upstream-downstream interactions and issues of scale, groundwater, enhanced rainfed agriculture, urbanisation-agriculture interface and agriculture-ecosystem interface. Research > Research theme 1: Crop water productivity improvement

Limpopo River Benchmark Basin > Research > Research theme 1

This theme focuses on farming methods that can help boost crop productivity by: Developing water-efficient and stress-tolerant crops Introducing improved water-saving farm practices Enhancing management tools that give farmers timely access to water, and Promoting policies and institutions that help farmers take advantage of these advances

By growing stress-tolerant crop varieties and adopting improved water management methods, farmers will reduce the risk of crop failure from drought, salinity, water-logging and floods. This in turn will allow them to increase production on marginal lands, and be better able to cope with short-term or medium-term water deficits under both irrigated and rain fed conditions. These enhanced practices will boost food security, result in lower food prices for poor consumers, offer more opportunities for income growth through crop diversification, and reduce intensification pressure in fragile uplands.

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