Draft Project Brief: Strengthening water and nutrient management in smallholder irrigation schemes in the Ramotswa Transboundary Aquifer Area, Limpopo River Basin

Rural agricultural development has great potential to alleviate poverty, reduce food insecurity, and improve rural livelihoods and climate resilience in Africa. Despite the small area under irrigation, the value of irrigated agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa comprises about 25% of total agricultural output
Due to the significant amount of water used in agriculture, irrigation water should be applied efficiently, particularly in arid areas. In regions experiencing water scarcity and variable water availability, such as the Ramotswa Transboundary Aquifer Area (RTBAA), shared by Botswana and South Africa, conventional methods of irrigation scheduling – based on intuition or experience – may no longer be
adequate. It is critical to stretch limited water resources in order to maximize the benefits derived from them. This objective can be supported by the use of soil-moisture and nutrient management tools.

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