The use of rainwater harvesting as a poverty reduction strategy for small-scale farmers in developing countries: The need to consider context


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How suitable is rainwater harvesting for small scale agriculture?
    Panel Presentation: Water & SanitationAuthors: Lisa BunclarkInstitutions: University of East Anglia The use of rainwater harvestin developin Department fo Abstract Using Botswana as a case study, this pap(RWH) in small-scale agriculture in develdeveloping regions to assess the suitabilipotential for increases in crop productiondue to impacts of climate change and altnational governance approach. The suitacountries depends on factors related to clgovernance and institutions. Keywords: Rainwater harvesting, appro 1.   Introduction  ‘We need to offer the poor real technoloIt is claimed that rainwater harvesting (Rdeveloping countries, (NWP, 2007) and b2009). Some RWH systems have been suthousands of years (Critchley and Sieigerall areas.RWH systems have traditionally been usebut views regarding the suitability of theDespite the implementation of several gothrough extension services, traditional faachieving only 30 per cent of potential yihas been conducted and one of the objeclow levels of adoption of RWH systems bThe suitability of any agricultural techniqaccessible, affordable and appropriate foradopted and sustainably used. Existing rmust fit (Cullis and Pacey, 1992; Scooneprimarily on technical aspects (see Hatibincorporate non-technical factors into thesuitable.This research proposes a decision-makinschemes in developing regions. This papand analyses the results from the primarconclusions regarding the suitability of R 2.   Methods Preliminary collection and analysis of exiscollection of primary data and generate tfindings from these interviews highlighteuntil all themes had been fully explored oSince the identification of those with knoproblematic, research participants were ilist of potential participants was compiledorganisations and individuals with knowle EWB-UK National Resear ng as a poverty reduction strategy for countries: The need to consider cont Lisa Bunclark  r International Development, University of East Anglier examines the factors that determine the suitabilityping countries and proposes a decision-making matry of the technology for increasing crop production anthrough RWH in Botswana and other developing courations to rural livelihood strategies as a result of ecility of RWH for increasing crop production and reducimate and ecology, farming practice, availability of ariate technology, water resources management, smy choice over affordable, appropriate and accessiblelow-tech but right tech.’ WH) could potentially double current crop yields of sreak inter-generational cycles of poverty (Barron, 20ccessfully used by small-holder farmers in parts of th   t, 1991; Mamdouh, 1999), but the technology may nd in Botswana for many years for domestic purposestechnology for agricultural production vary (c.f. FAO,vernment-led schemes involving RWH and attempts tms in Botswana continue to perform poorly (Acquah,lds .(Rockström et al., 2010). Little examination of ttives of this research is to determine the range of facsmall-scale farmers in what appears to be an enablie depends on a wide range of factors (AfDB 2007).the target community (Coupe, 2001; Coventry, 200search largely ignores the complex environment withet al., 2007; Vohland and Barry, 2009) and implemand Mahoo, 1999; AfDB, 2007; Young et al., 2002).se frameworks to ensure that the technology is only imatrix that may be used by those considering the ir outlines the methodological approach used to prodand secondary data collection, presents the matrixH for use in small-scale agriculture in developing coting RWH literature and other relevant secondary datpics to discuss during interviews with various individareas for further research and secondary data wasr saturated.ledge or experience of RWH in small-scale farming ientified through a process of snowball sampling (seeand then these participants were used to establish cdge of RWH. h & Education Conference 2011 ‘Our Global Future’  4 th March 2011 84 small-scale farmersxt aof rainwater harvestingix that may be used ind reducing poverty. Currenttries is uncertain, primarynomic development anding poverty in developingsets, livelihood strategy,ll-scale farming, Botswana.   options. It is not hi-tech or(Coventry 2003:1)all-scale agriculture in9; Vohland and Barry,e developing world fort prove equally effective in(Pacey and Cullis, 1991),2003; Mati et al., 2006).o assist small-scale farmers2003; GoB, 2006a),ese government initiativesors that has led to suchg must be) if it is to be successfullyin which RWH systemsntation frameworks focusSteps need to be taken tomplemented whereplementation of RWHce this matrix, discussesevised and draws tentativentries.a was used to guide theuals in Botswana. Theollected where necessaryBotswana wasBryman, 2004). An initialntacts with other relevant    Panel Presentation: Water & SanitationAuthors: Lisa BunclarkInstitutions: University of East AngliaTwelve individuals were interviewed, reprBotswana, the traditional Batswana farmiconfidentially and anonymity has been mto their involvement in the project. Althoacknowledged that the relatively small ndrawn. 3.   Results and discussion The findings from this research confirm cto the adoption of RWH. In Botswana, evlabour and finances have not helped to e(Baguma and Loiskandl, 2010; Tumbo etfinances may pose a greater barrier to thPrimary data indicates that in the past Rbut the abandonment of traditional schebenefits srcinally gained from using thetoo erratic to sustain rain-fed crop produfindings indicate that benefits from the aimprovements in aspects such as farm mFurthermore, it is argued that adoption rother key sources of livelihood. Pastoral f it is argued that increases in crop producfarming is considered. In addition to this,recent years have led to a reduction in iis suggested that this has resulted in theimportance of arable farming continues tincrease in crop production in BotswanaAs highlighted in previous research (Jodhsecurity measures, along with involvemethe effectiveness of traditional and inforthe adoption of traditional RWH methods,Furthermore, a focus on the commercialimay have discouraged farmers from incr(2010).It is suggested that a lack of appropriateif RWH is to have the potential to increascapacity of existing institutions, such as tinstitutions need to be created at the cobetween farmers (Nijhof et al., 2010), alsystems to their particular needs (UNESC  3.1   The suitability of rainwater harv Dryland agricultural systems, such as thosuitability of RWH for increasing crop proholds for reducing the risk involved in arsources. Drawing on the findings from Boparticular context have been proposed asustainability of RWH. These requirementmaking matrix in Table 3.1. EWB-UK National Resear esenting ministries, non-governmental organisationsng community and academic institutions in South Afri   aintained in order to prevent any potentially adversegh every effort has been made to ensure the validitymber of individuals interviewed may limit the transfeurrent ideas that the availability of labour and financn government-led schemes that provide a high degrcourage the widespread adoption of RWH, in contraal, in press). This suggests that other factors more ie adoption of RWH and potential for increases in cropH has traditionally played an important part in smalles in recent years, as reported by the participants, iechnology may no longer be felt; it is possible that rtion. However, water is only one of the many barrieroption of RWH in Botswana may be limited despite ranagement are also made.tes may remain low due to the conflict the use of tharming is an important part of livelihood for the majoion may only be achieved if a RWH strategy integratieconomic development and a rapid increase in formportance of arable farming in rural livelihoods, in agrinsufficient allocation of resources (primarily labour)decrease into the future, the potential for widespreay be low.a, 1986; Boyd and Turton, 2000), the implementatiot in RWH schemes and agriculture, by the Governmeal arrangements in rural areas. In particular, increasdue to the need to apply for permission to excavateation of agriculture and an apparent lack of provisionasing small-scale productivity, in accordance with fininstitution building has minimised the impact of RWHe small-scale crop productivity on a widespread basishe Ministry of Agriculture extension scheme, need tomunity level to provide a platform for learning and kng with more extensive training to equip them with tO-IHE & IWMI, 2009). sting - towards a matrix for assessment se in Botswana, are inherently risky (Enfors and Gorduction and reducing poverty ultimately depends on tble farming, without restricting benefits gained fromtswana, key requirements needed to ensure the suitd divided into those affecting initial adoption and thos are outlined in the following section and summarise h & Education Conference 2011 ‘Our Global Future’  4 th March 2011 85(NGOs) and institutions inica. Participanteffects that may occur dueof this research, it isrability of conclusionss pose a significant barriere of assistance towardsiction to findings by othersfluential than labour andproduction.-scale farming in Botswana,an indication that theinfall has simply becomes to crop production andinfall levels unlesstechnology creates withrity of rural Batswana andng both pastoral and arablel sector employment ineement with Ellis (2000). Itor RWH and if thed adoption of RWH and anof extensive socialnt appears to have reduceded bureaucracy has reducedpans to collect runoff.of access to local marketsdings by Rockström et alschemes in Botswana andit is suggested that thebe improved and newnowledge exchangehe skills to adapt RWHon, 2007) and thehe potential the technologyother important livelihoodbility of RWH in anyse affecting longer-termd in a proposed decision-    Panel Presentation: Water & SanitationAuthors: Lisa BunclarkInstitutions: University of East Anglia Table 3.1 : Decision- Factor Initial adoptionClimate andecology Adequate data on rainproperties to allow forsystemsPotential rainfall and rdistribution compatiblSoil with good watersufficient structure if construction in associSoil nutrient level capgrowth in at least the Farmingpractice Traditional use of RWGrowth of relatively hiLabour and equipmen Availabilityof assets Availability of financerequired for adoptionassistance from approAdequate land availabKnowledge and underLow input demand for Livelihoodstrategies Crop production highstrategySignificant reduction iimplementation of schRapid return on initialLack of conflict with ostrategies (eg. pastor Local andcatchmentinstitutions Government with highrelevant policies andPresence of local levelfarmer centred researAssistance of commuadoption issuesPresence of institutioninitial investment (eg.organisations) EWB-UK National Resear aking matrix for the suitability of RWH systems in ag Longer-term sustaina     fall, evaporation and soileffective design of unoff volume andwith crop water demandolding capacity (andequired for anytion with RWH system)able of sustaining cropshort-termSufficient availability of ecosystems in region desystemsEqual benefits for both dupstream users in basinMinimal affects of climatRWH to provide adequatRainfall patterns offer oenhancement via RWHdroughtHigh predictability of raiweather forecasts, to allpractice and efficient usin crop productiongh value cash cropsinvestment acceptableCombined use of RWHmethods and applicationOptimisation of farm madecrease limitations onby factors other than wasowing)Fits wider farming syste, materials and labourhrough subsidies andpriate institutionsility and land tenurestanding of RWHadoptionAdequate availability of lterm crop production cloLow input demand for mAvailability of finances,required for maintenancassistance from appropriPossession of skills to aspecific needs of farm/criority in livelihoodn risk of crop failure withemeinvestmenther current livelihoodl farming)No detrimental impact ostrategy (eg. diversificatProvides consistent booand nutritionSustained high priority ostrategyLow competition for reslivelihood strategies (eg.capacity to implementchemesinstitutions to implementch and extensionity/village leaders ins to provide resources formicro creditCatchment level institutiupstream and downstremanage water supply aagriculture and other seCommunity level institutparticipation in planningevaluation and improve h & Education Conference 2011 ‘Our Global Future’  4 th March 2011 86riculture. ility ater to maintain widerspite presence of RWHownstream and   e change on ability of e waterportunity forith little excessivefall, or provision of ow for timely farmingof water harvestedith soil conservationof fertilisernagement skills torop production causedter availability (eg. seeds in locationand suitable for long-se to homesteadaintenanceaterials and laboure through subsidies andiate institutionsapt RWH system to meettchmentn wider livelihoodion)t to household incomef agriculture in livelihoodurces from other. formal employment)onal linkages betweenm users to monitor andd demand within bothtorsions to allow for farmercost sharing, continualent of systems    Panel Presentation: Water & SanitationAuthors: Lisa BunclarkInstitutions: University of East Anglia Factor Initial adoptionLocal andcatchmentinstitutions Government with highrelevant policies andPresence of local levelfarmer centred researAssistance of commuadoption issuesPresence of institutioninitial investment (eg.organisations) Nationalgovernance Incentivised policies agrants and subsidiesProvision of adequatetraining and assistancPolicies encouraging ipopulation from goverMinimal governmentadoption of RWH sche Climate and ecology  One of the greatest risks to rain-fed cropstochastic rainfall is the key to the suitabiRockström, 2008); in some semi-arid anto provide sufficient benefits (Reij et al, 1short- and longer-term future, maintaininClimatic factors need to be considered clyields. For example, areas with unfavourmay not be suitable for RWH (Critchley acombining RWH with soil conservation mal., 2002). Farming practice Findings highlight the need for effective f seed-sowing method, may restrict crop pYuan et al., 2003). Additionally, althoughin traditional farming increases the likelihproved the case in other projects (AfDB,for use in crop production in areas wheresystems.  Availability of assets A lack of resources, including finances, la(Pachpute et al., 2009; UNESCO-IHE & Iin general the provision of grants and assuse of the technology (Baguma and Loisk Livelihood strategies   Evidence suggests that in some areas inscrop production is allocated with a relativBoyd and Turton, 2000; Hatibu and Mahgreatest barrier to the use of RWH in coufor land, water and vegetation may leadexistence of cattle and crops can be impl EWB-UK National Resear Longer-term sustaina     capacity to implementchemesinstitutions to implementch and extensionity/village leaders ins to provide resources formicro creditCatchment level institutiupstream and downstremanage water supply aagriculture and other seCommunity level institutparticipation in planningevaluation and improvend schemes, includinginstitutions to providee with adoptiondependence of ruralnmentureaucracy involved inmesComplimentary policiesincreased importance anagriculture and crop proLegal framework defininresponsibilities of waterProvision of infrastructumarketsProvision of adequate intraining and assistanceproductivity is high rainfall variability and the abilityility of any technology aimed at increasing productiviarid areas the variability of the rain may be too gre988). Furthermore, RWH must enable crop water deg a lowered level of risk in arable farming even in thsely with wider ecological issues, as these can haveble soil characteristics, such as low moisture holdingnd Siegert 1991). Data collection in Botswana reiteraasures if crop production is to be most successful (Af arming practice and poor management, such as sub-roduction despite increased water availability (Barrondata gathered from Botswana was unable to confirmood of the uptake of new RWH strategies, literature s2007). As a result it may be possible to conclude thatit has been used traditionally, as farmers are likely tbour and land, is a key constraint to the adoption of MI, 2009) and although government schemes in Boistance from governments or NGOs has been shownandl, 2010;   Tumbo et al., in press).ufficient resources are available for the adoption andely low priority level within the household livelihood so, 1999). The conflict between pastoral and arable fantries where livestock make a large contribution to lio the failure of RWH systems unless an appropriate smented as recommended by Botha et al. (2008) and h & Education Conference 2011 ‘Our Global Future’  4 th March 2011 87 ility onal linkages betweenm users to monitor andd demand within bothtorsions to allow for farmer   cost sharing, continualent of systemsncouraging thed growth of small scaleuction.rights anduserse to increase access totitutions to provideith maintenance and use(Source: Various)o reduce the reliance ony (Falkenmark andt for certain types of RWHand to be met both in thecontext of climate change.marked influence oncapacity, or low fertilityed the importance of DB, 2007, Rockström etptimal crop choice and, 2009; Kronen, 1994;that the presence of RWHuggests that this hasRWH may be more suitablebe more familiar with theWH by the poorest farmersswana were unsuccessful,o reduce the barrier to thesustained use of RWH astrategy (Borhang, 1992;rming poses perhaps theelihoods and competitionystem that allows the co-Pacey and Cullis (1991).
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