DepartmentDepartment of Agricultural Economics & Extension
Publication in Relevant AreasAgro-climatic constraints to the productivity of Integrated smallholder crop-livestock farming system in Eastern Cape, South Africa. (on going PhD Thesis)
Countries of Research Interestâ€œ About 46% of South African households are considered poor or low-income, more then 15 million poor people living in rural areas in South Africa and over 60% of black households can be defined as low-income and rely mostly on the informal sector for an income. It is estimated that 60% of South Africa's people live below, what the United Nations describes, the poverty line.â€
In addition to this situation, the communal areas are being severely degraded by inappropriate and unsustainable land use practices (DEAT, 1996)which has been adversely affected by the change in the ecosystem induced by climmte change apparently un-noticed by smallholder farmers.
Statement of Interest in the CallThe fragility of global food security has become increasingly clear with series of crises challenging the world's ability to feed itself (Ringler, 2010). Apart from other constraints of agricultural development in Africa, temperatures rise and weather patterns shift is expected to decline agricultural yields dramatically pushing millions of vulnerable people deeper into poverty and hunger. (Jones and Thornton (2003) and IPCC (2007) stated that smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa who are already faced with a number of challenges as well as dependant on rain-fed agriculture will be among the most affected. There is generally consensus about mitigating the effect of climate change, poverty and sustainable livelihood among smallholder farmers through the concept of diversification and sustainable resource base use. It designed to investigate major bio-physical and social problems of smallholder farming system in areas with poor infrastructure, generally low and erratic rainfall conditions and declining soil fertility. The overall aim of the study is to generate insight that will help policy formulations that will improve the productivity of cropâ€“livestock farming systems through better understanding of underlying factors and constraints management in the dry and marginal part of the Eastern Cape Province.