Development of Flood- and Drought-Adaptive Cropping Systems in Namibia
In recent years, serious drought and flooding become more frequent than before, affecting semi-arid regions of Sub-Saharan Africa due to the climate change. The research project was conducted to develop a “flood- and drought-adaptive cropping system” which can preserve water resources and cope with the yearly fluctuation of flood and drought in a semi-arid densely populated region of north-central Namibia. The crop science team proposed six cultivation techniques adapted to both flood and drought environments. Hydrology team explored that origin of surface and subsurface water was from local rainfall that was pooled temporary on the surface of small wetland formed in a farm field. The wetland can be easily affected by direct evaporation; however, rice cropping has no significant effect on the water environment of these wetlands. Shallow groundwater could be protected from drought weather conditions, and the recharge rate to the shallow groundwater could be enough only from the local rainfall in spite of recent drought weather conditions. The development studies team established seven methods for understanding the changing attitudes and perceptions of farmers and the socioeconomic impact on farmers through the introduction of the rice-pearl millet mixed cropping system. By using these methods, we found four aspects of socioeconomic impact and examined the socioeconomic sustainability of mixed cropping from four perspectives (incentive, independence, accessibility, and systematization). In this article, the results of the crop science team and the possible list of the cultivation techniques are described in detail.
We thank all the members of “Namibia-Japan Rice and Pearl millet Project” in Kindai University, the University of Namibia, the University of Shiga Prefecture, Nagoya University, and the Tohoku University. We also thank the projects entitled “Flood- and Drought-Adaptive Cropping Systems to Conserve Water Environments in Semi-arid Regions” by the framework of the “Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS)” funded by both the Japan Science and Technology (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Scholarships for S. Awala, P. Nanhapo, and M. Wanga were funded by JST/JICA for graduate study at Kindai University, Japan.
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