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Title: Assessing the Contribution of Smallholder Irrigation to Household Food Security in Zimbabwe
Authors: Norman Mupaso
Godswill Makombe
Raymond Mugandani
Paramu L. Mafongoya
Department of Agricultural Economics and Development, Midlands State University, Gweru P.O. Box 9055, Zimbabwe
Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Rd, Hatfield, Pretoria 0002, South Africa;
Department of Lands and Water Resources Management, Midlands State University, Gweru P.O. Box 9055, Zimbabwe
School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa;
Keywords: smallholder irrigation
food security
food consumption score
Sustainable Development Goal
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2024
Publisher: MDPI
Abstract: Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 seeks to end hunger and guarantee food and nutrition security worldwide by 2030. Smallholder irrigation development remains a key strategy to achieve SDG 2. This study assesses how smallholder irrigation contributes to household food security in Mberengwa district, Zimbabwe. Primary data were gathered from a randomly chosen sample of 444 farmers (344 irrigators and 100 non-irrigators) using a structured questionnaire. Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 27 software packages were used to analyse the data. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test, t-test, and binary logistic regression were performed. The t-test results show significant differences in mean between irrigators and non-irrigators for household size, the dependency ratio, farming experience, farm income, food expenditure share, and livestock owned (p < 0.05). Irrigators had significantly higher area planted, yield, and quantity sold for maize during the summer than non-irrigators (p < 0.05). Food Consumption Score results show that 97% of irrigators and 45% of non-irrigators were food secure. Binary logistic regression results reveal a significant association between food security and household size, irrigation access, and farm income (p < 0.05). In conclusion, access to smallholder irrigation increases household food security. The government and its development partners should prioritise investments in smallholder irrigation development, expansion, and rehabilitation.
Description: : This work is part of a Doctoral research project by the first author supported by the Midlands State University. The National Research Foundation of South Africa, through the Agriculture 2024, 14, 617 15 of 16 Department of Agronomy and Rural Development [grant 86893], University of KwaZulu Natal, provided funding for the publication of this paper. The authors are grateful to the enumerators who assisted during the data collection process. We also express gratitude to the farmers who participated in the survey
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