Rural poverty and Food insecurity mapping at district level for improved agricultural water management in the Limpopo River Basin
The purposes of this paper are to:
1) Identify areas in the Limpopo River Basin with high levels of rural poverty and food insecurity;
2) Identify areas where agricultural water management (AWM) interventions are taking place; and
3) Check whether current activities of the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) in the Limpopo Basin are located in areas of need as per poverty profiles and geographical location of smallholder farms.
The generated poverty and food insecurity maps were based on food security surveys and estimates of consumption or income-based welfare outcomes at the district level from 2003–2013. Based on existing district level poverty and other relevant data in the basin, the study shows that the Limpopo Basin Development Challenge (LBDC) study sites are located in poor areas in the Limpopo Basin, and poverty reduction efforts should prioritize vulnerable female and child-headed households as they are the most negatively impacted by poverty and food insecurity in the four countries. Hence, with the overall aim of CPWF under LBDC to reduce poverty and food insecurity, and improve livelihoods, poverty indices should rank highly as one of the factors for project site selection. Poverty and food insecurity mapping plays an important role in identifying areas lagging behind in social and economic development, and also in facilitating targeted developmental programs such as education, health, access to credit, agricultural production support and food aid.