Impact of irrigation farming on livelihood strategies, Household food security and poverty status among smallholder farmers in the North-West Province, South Africa
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The study was designed to assess the impact of irrigation schemes on livelihood strategies and food security status of smallholder maize farmers in North West Province of South Africa and covered three districts of the North West Province namely: Dr Ngaka Modiri Molema district, Bojanala district and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati district. In this study, a descriptive survey design was used and a sample of farmers was interviewed from the list of farmers obtained from the extension workers. The targeted group was male farmers in irrigation farming and those who farm within the radius of the irrigation scheme. A questionnaire was designed as the primary tool for data collection and the process of collecting data involved face to face interviews and group discussions. Data collected were coded and entered into Microsoft Excel and then transferred to Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). To analyse data, descriptive and inferential statistics were used. The results of multiple regression analysis of relationship between irrigation farming and livelihood strategies showed that the independent variables were significantly related to livelihood strategies of the farmers with an F value of 8.067, p< 0.05 and R value of 0. 788 showed that there was strong correlation between the independent variable and the household livelihood strategies. Significant determinants were marital status (t= 2.43), number of household (t= 5.41), nonfarm activity (t=1.73) and income (t= 6.59). The probit model was used to determine the influence of the socio-economic variables on household food security status. The model has a good fit and significant with two explanatory' variables being significant while eleven variables were insignificant. The significant variables were income and Land. The results of Forster Greer Thorbecke showed that about (1.5%) of the respondents are living below the threshold of (R9.2) per day, while the per capital income of respondents that are below the poverty line needed to be increased by (0.5%) to meet the level of poverty line. The results also showed severity of (0.1%), this implied that the gap of respondents from the poverty line is very small.