Distribution of Articles published per year
(2014 - 2018)
(2014 - 2018)
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Article 0 Reads 0 Citations The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Climate Risks and Opportunities in Southern Africa Published: 27 April 2018
Water, doi: 10.3390/w10050567
The discourse on the need for water, energy, and food security has dominated the development agenda of southern African countries, centred on improving livelihoods, building resilience, and regional integration. About 60% of the population in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) live in rural areas relying mainly on rainfed agriculture, lacking access to clean water and energy, yet the region is endowed with vast natural resources. The water-energy-food (WEF) nexus is a conceptual framework that presents opportunities for greater resource coordination, management, and policy convergence across sectors. This is particularly relevant in the SADC region as resources are transboundary and supports efforts linked to regional integration and inclusive socio-economic development and security. We conducted an appraisal of WEF-related policies and institutions in SADC and identified linkages among them. The present ‘silo’ approach in resource management and allocation, often conducted at the national level, contributes to the region’s failure to meet its development targets, exacerbating its vulnerabilities. The lack of coordination of WEF nexus synergies and trade-offs in planning often threatens the sustainability of development initiatives. We highlighted the importance of the WEF nexus to sustainably address the sectoral coordination of resources through harmonised institutions and policies, as well as setting targets and indicators to direct and monitor nexus developments. We illustrate the significance of the nexus in promoting inclusive development and transforming vulnerable communities into resilient societies. The study recommends a set of integrated assessment models to monitor and evaluate the implementation of WEF nexus targets. Going forward, we propose the adoption of a regional WEF nexus framework.
Article 1 Read 0 Citations Nutrient Content and Nutritional Water Productivity of Selected Grain Legumes in Response to Production Environment Published: 26 October 2017
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi: 10.3390/ijerph14111300
There is a need to incorporate nutrition into aspects of crop and water productivity to tackle food and nutrition insecurity (FNS). The study determined the nutritional water productivity (NWP) of selected major (groundnut, dry bean) and indigenous (bambara groundnut and cowpea) grain legumes in response to water regimes and environments. Field trials were conducted during 2015/16 and 2016/17 at three sites in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Ukulinga, Fountainhill and Umbumbulu). Yield and evapotranspiration (ET) data were collected. Grain was analysed for protein, fat, Ca, Fe and Zn nutrient content (NC). Yield, ET and NC were then used to compute NWP. Overall, the major legumes performed better than the indigenous grain legumes. Groundnut had the highest NWPfat. Groundnut and dry bean had the highest NWPprotein. For NWPFe, Zn and Ca, dry bean and cowpea were more productive. Yield instability caused fluctuations in NWP. Water treatments were not significant (p > 0.05). While there is scope to improve NWP under rainfed conditions, a lack of crop improvement currently limits the potential of indigenous grain legumes. This provides an initial insight on the nutrient content and NWP of a limited number of selected grain legumes in response to the production environment. There is a need for follow-up research to include cowpea data. Future studies should provide more experimental data and explore effects of additional factors such as management practices (fertiliser levels and plant density), climate and edaphic factors on nutrient content and NWP of crops.
Article 2 Reads 3 Citations Food and Nutrition Insecurity in Selected Rural Communities of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa—Linking Human Nutrition and A... Published: 27 December 2016
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, doi: 10.3390/ijerph14010017
Lack of access to nutritious and balanced diets remains a major impediment to the health and well-being of people living in rural areas. The study utilizes a qualitative systematic approach to conduct an environmental scan and review of scientific literature of studies conducted in South Africa, specifically KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Availability and access to nutritious, diverse and balanced diets were identified as key constraints for achieving food and nutrition security as well as for human health and well-being. This has led to both under- and over-nutrition, with the former, in particular stunting, affecting children under 5 years. A high incidence of over-nutrition, both overweight and obesity, was observed among black African females. In South Africa, poor people rely mostly on social grants and cannot afford a balanced diet. Under these circumstances, agriculture could be used to increase availability and access to diverse and nutritious foods for the attainment of a balanced diet. The wider use of traditional vegetable crops and pulses could improve availability and access to healthy and locally available alternatives. The promotion of household and community food gardens, and the use of nutrient dense crops with low levels of water use, i.e., high nutritional water productivity, offers prospects for addressing malnutrition in poor rural areas.
Article 1 Read 1 Citation Improving Water Sustainability and Food Security through Increased Crop Water Productivity in Malawi Published: 21 September 2016
Water, doi: 10.3390/w8090411
Agriculture accounts for most of the renewable freshwater resource withdrawals in Malawi, yet food insecurity and water scarcity remain as major challenges. Despite Malawi’s vast water resources, climate change, coupled with increasing population and urbanisation are contributing to increasing water scarcity. Improving crop water productivity has been identified as a possible solution to water and food insecurity, by producing more food with less water, that is, to produce “more crop per drop”. This study evaluated crop water productivity from 2000 to 2013 by assessing crop evapotranspiration, crop production and agricultural gross domestic product (Ag GDP) contribution for Malawi. Improvements in crop water productivity were evidenced through improved crop production and productivity. These improvements were supported by increased irrigated area, along with improved agronomic practices. Crop water productivity increased by 33% overall from 2000 to 2013, resulting in an increase in maize production from 1.2 million metric tons to 3.6 million metric tons, translating to an average food surplus of 1.1 million metric tons. These developments have contributed to sustainable improved food and nutrition security in Malawi, which also avails more water for ecosystem functions and other competing economic sectors.
Article 1 Read 4 Citations Southern Africa’s Water–Energy Nexus: Towards Regional Integration and Development Published: 01 June 2016
Water, doi: 10.3390/w8060235
The Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) water and energy sectors are under increasing pressure due to population growth and agricultural and industrial development. Climate change is also negatively impacting on the region’s water and energy resources. As the majority of SADC’s population lives in poverty, regional development and integration are underpinned by water and energy security as the watercourses in the region are transboundary in nature. This paper reviews the region’s water and energy resources and recommends policies based on the water–energy nexus approach. This is achieved by reviewing literature on water and energy resources as well as policy issues. Water resources governance provides a strong case to create a water–energy nexus platform to support regional planning and integration as SADC countries share similar climatic and hydrological conditions. However, there has been a gap between water and energy sector planning in terms of policy alignment and technical convergence. These challenges hinder national policies on delivering economic and social development goals, as well as constraining the regional goal of greater integration. Regional objectives on sustainable energy and access to clean water for all can only be achieved through the recognition of the water–energy nexus, championed in an integrated and sustainable manner. A coordinated regional water–energy nexus approach stimulates economic growth, alleviates poverty and reduces high unemployment rates. The shared nature of water and energy resources requires far more transboundary water–energy nexus studies to be done in the context of regional integration and policy formulation.
Article 1 Read 6 Citations Opportunities for Underutilised Crops in Southern Africa’s Post–2015 Development Agenda Published: 25 March 2016
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su8040302
Underutilised crops represent an important component of Southern Africa’s agro–biodiversity that has potential to contribute to the region’s post–2015 development discourse. We reviewed the potential of underutilised crops with respect to how they can contribute to topical challenges, such as food and nutrition security, human health and well–being, climate change adaptation, the environment, and employment creation in poor rural communities. The fact that underutilised crops are the product of generations of landrace agriculture supports the idea that they are resilient and adapted to the needs of farmers in marginal agricultural environments. In addition, underutilised crops are also seen as offering economic advantages due to their uniqueness, suitability to environments in which they are grown and low input requirements. In certain cases, underutilised crops are associated with specific gender roles with women being seen as particularly significant in their production. Evidence also suggests that the inclusion of underutilised crops in cropping systems contributes to dietary diversity and improved nutrition. In the context of the post–2015 agenda, the potential of underutilised crops to generate income, address food security and their status as a “subset of biodiversity” links with a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing social, economic and environmental issues.