Browsing by Author "Pienaar, Cornelis Jacobus"
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Results Per Page
- ItemIncreased water productivity in irrigated tomato production in the smallholder farming community of Giyani(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04) Pienaar, Cornelis Jacobus; De Clercq, W. P.; Jovanovic, Nebo Z.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Soil Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The availability of water for irrigation purposes is becoming a serious concern for smallholder famers in the former homeland areas of South Africa. Not only because of global weather change and the occurrence of more erratic weather events, but also due to competition for fresh water between the agricultural, industrial and domestic sectors (Hamdy et al., 2003). Food production increases in smallholder agriculture is seen as a possible solution to the food security challenges in the rural areas of the Limpopo Province (Altman et al., 2009). Smallholder farmers in Giyani mostly use traditional furrow irrigation systems and their farm crop productivity remains very low, compared to commercial farms in the same area. The objective of this study is to utilize and test various innovation technologies aimed at increasing Water Productivity (WP) in order to facilitate better irrigation management of the available water resources. The study was conducted on two farms, Zava Cooperative Garden and Mzilela Cooperative Garden, in the rural areas of Giyani over a two year period from 2012-2013. This study seeks to achieve the objective in three distinct ways. Firstly, the use of NIR technology is used to evaluate the prediction ability of soil chemical parameters for fertilizer requirement calculations. Secondly, WP trials were conducted on smallholder tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) production for three consecutive seasons, evaluating their current tomato crop production systems and also testing new innovations for WP increases. Thirdly, applying the MonQI methodology, inputs and outputs of all crop production sites were done to monitor the cropping systems throughout the period of the research. The results from this study indicate the importance of applying new innovations amongst smallholder production systems. Important findings from the NIR technologies indicated that this innovation can improve soil nutrient management in a more affordable, user friendly manner. The results showed that good prediction models were obtained for pH (KCl), electrical conductivity (EC), P, K, Mg, Na and CEC, with R2 and RPD values larger than 0.60 and 1.4 respectively. The prediction of exchangeable Ca was less successful with a R2 value of 0.43. Results from the WP trials suggest that drip irrigation performed better than furrow irrigation in terms of yield and WP. Yield and WP were very low for all treatments, being below 32 t/ha and 5.2 kg/m-3 respectively. Improved management practices, such as soil nutrient management and mulching were introduced in the 2nd and 3rd seasons of tomato trials in order to increase WP at field level at Mzilela farm. Results showed tomato yield increased from an average of 26.5 t/ha to 120.9 t/ha and WP increases from 4.61kg/m-3 to 17.69 kg/m-3. Deep drainage of water out of the rootzone decreased with better irrigation management. The results from the monitoring of inputs and output of their cropping systems revealed that smallholder farmers, using traditional farming practices, yielded very low and mostly below 5 t/ha for all crops. Some crops were totally lost due to hail and heat-waves. NPK balances for conventional cropping by the smallholder farmers at Mzilela was in the range of 0 to -70 kg/ha. The tomato production fertilized treatment of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd WP trials, showed positive nutrient balance results for P and K in the range of 80 to 140 kg/ha. N balances were mostly negative for all plots. NFI was R2768 and R4740 for season 1 and 3 respectively, while the 2nd season results showed a loss of - R5176. With the improved yield from the WP trial sites, and the fruits being sold to the Spar, the NFI increased to R42486 in the final season. The study concludes that great improvements in yield, WP and NFI are attainable and sustainable amongst smallholder farmers in the Giyani area.