Characterization of Farming Households and Assessment of Economic Viability of Water Users Association at Mafefe Irrigation Schemes in Limpopo Province of South Africa
A.E. Nesamvuni, K.A. Tshikolomo, A. Belete, M.Z. Motaung

The study characterized farming households at three irrigation schemes in Mafefe Area at Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality under Capricorn District of Limpopo Province and assessed the economic viability of their Water Users Association (WUA). The irrigation schemes were Mashushu, Fertilis and Mantlhane. Heads of household were older at Mashushu (average age=68) followed by Fertilis (59) and finally Manthlane (56). Household sizes ranged between 5 and 6. Some 21.7% of heads of household (37.5%-Mashushu, 20%-Fertilis and 7.7%-Manthlane) had no formal education, half (55%-Fertilis, 50%-Mashushu, and 53.8%-Manthlane) had primary while 25.3% (38.5%-Manthlane, 25%-Fertilis and 12.5%-Mashushu) had secondary education. Household income varied (average R26,991-Manthlane, R24,780-Mashushu, R21,807-Fertilis) across the schemes. The majority (88%) of farmers had = 40% of income from farming. On average, individual farmers made profit in all schemes (R6,654.50-Mashushu, R4,565.59-Fertilis, R5,938.78- Manthlane). Production increased with cost of tillage (p<0.01)and marketing (p<0.05). The cost for operating the WUA was estimated at R15 500 / annum while the income was estimated at R16 700 / annum. The WUA for farmers in the study irrigation schemes would therefore be economically viable.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v3n4a6