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Relevant drought and water policies and strategies

Drought policies and strategies

Policies and strategies provide the framework and guidance to support the implementation of best management practices and suitable interventions. For several years, the countries of the Limpopo River Basin (and all of the SADC) have been striving to find appropriate policies and strategies to address drought-related issues. This section provides an overview of some of the drought- related strategies, legislation and policies relevant in the four countries of the Limpopo River Basin, as well as the more general policy and strategy developments within the SADC. Although the focus is on drought and water policies, it is recognized that many national and regional policies have drought-related components, such as agriculture, livestock, land, natural resources, rural development, and poverty alleviation.

A complete review of the many drought-related policies and strategies cannot be realized within the limits of this situation analysis. Furthermore, it is recognized that there are many ministries and projects ongoing that address various aspects of drought that are not presented in this report. It is important to establish the linkages with these other policies and strategies in order to facilitate risk reduction and reduce the impacts of drought and climate variability. These other policies interface with national disaster and/or drought policies and plans, and vice versa. For example, the SADC regional policy for livestock recognizes the linkages between the livestock sector and the other priority development sectors, such as human resources development, agricultural research, wildlife-livestock disease interactions, crop- livestock interactions, and industry and trade.

General SADC drought strategies

Since the foundation in 1980 of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC), the member states have been concerned with food security and the effects of drought. On becoming members of the SADC, each country signed a legally binding treaty through which all member countries agreed to coordinate, harmonize and rationalize their policies and strategies for sustainable development in all areas. The SADC now consists of 14 countries, including the four countries that form part of the Limpopo River Basin.

In November 1997, the SADC FSTAU organized a high-level drought policy seminar in Botswana, in response to the threat of a serious regional drought following a strong El Niño phenomenon. The report on this seminar recognized that drought in southern Africa is a normal and recurring event, and it called for long-term action in:

For a long time, the emphasis of drought strategies in the region has been on short-term mitigation measures rather than on long-term prevention programmes. In recent years, new policies have been emerging in which preparedness, rehabilitation, prevention and planning are the key elements. Current drought management strategies are attempting to treat drought as a potentially serious disaster, and to integrate it into programme management cycles aimed at mitigation and prevention.

Along with the acceptance that drought is a normal and recurrent phenomenon, new policies tend to transfer the responsibility for dealing with the impacts of drought more onto the farmer or the user of the land. New strategies are designed to ensure that drought relief assistance and programmes to support farmers are consistent with existing livelihood strategies and market development policies. This may require redefining drought relief programmes, for example, designing market-based approaches using vouchers or cash to replace food and farm input handouts as a means of ensuring food security without distorting the market (SADC, 1999). Compatibility between short-term and long-term development is an important element in the new policies, in which alternative ways of supporting farmers are recommended that will reduce their vulnerability to drought in the longer term. Long-term development programmes should be better integrated into drought relief measures, e.g. infrastructure projects, such as the building of roads, dams and other utilities. These may be accelerated during drought in the form of food or cash for work programmes.

Most SADC countries are developing explicit legal frameworks for drought management, treating drought as a recurrent phenomenon that should be included in the normal planning process of development. The countries have also recognized the need to coordinate actions on regional issues that are common to them, such as water. However, many of these policies and legal frameworks are fragmented, and implementation plans and decision-making levels are often not well defined. Most countries have high-level institutions to provide a framework for coordination and implementation. New policies tend to promote the creation of new independent drought institutions and funds, which are yet to be established. There seems to be some contradiction between the efforts of further institutionalization of drought and the newly accepted principle of increased farmer responsibility to cope with drought.

Relevant strategic progress achieved by the SADC countries includes the following areas:

The SADC (1999) has stated that reducing long-term vulnerability to drought will require a fundamental shift in government approaches, especially towards a multidisciplinary approach in:

Progress in technology development has been limited. Practices relating to water use, food and nutrition, seed production, energy production, etc., need drastic improvement in order to enhance efficiency and reduce vulnerability to drought. Although considerable progress has been achieved in poverty alleviation and policy development, there is still a lack of government capacity to achieve these goals. For example, policies that need refinement to create an enabling environment include those that support sustainable management of natural resources including land and water (SADC, 1999).

Some of the most relevant objectives related to institutional arrangements discussed in the SADC strategy are:

Earlier strategy formulations have already recognized most of these objectives. The new SADC policy does not offer many practical suggestions on how other overall objectives related to drought prevention could be achieved. There is an objective related to management of water resources, but none to land resources. However, conditions during drought may have a serious impact on land through erosion and land degradation.

Enhanced management of existing water resources includes activities such as dam building, borehole construction, promotion of more efficient irrigation systems, pollution control, revision of water rights, and promotion of water harvesting. These recommended activities are all valuable, but the most fundamental issue in drought areas is the assessment of the potential for water development, which is not addressed.

Drought management strategies in Botswana

Manamela (1997) provides an overview of drought management in Botswana, which has evolved over time on the basis of much experience. However, no single policy document has been produced to consolidate this experience apart from the 1980 strategy document and to a lesser extent a 1991 white paper. The main thrust of current government policy is to include drought management in the normal planning and development process. This implies that the non-emergency aspects of drought form an important part of regular development programmes and that in emergency areas government can use existing projects, programmes and budgets to respond to the situation, albeit in an expanded and accelerated way. As such, no special structures need be created in the event of a drought.

Drought strategies in Botswana can be divided into two distinct categories: short-term drought relief programmes, and long-term drought mitigation strategies. Drought relief programmes in Botswana have been essentially short-term operations and programmes, with action taken immediately after a drought. Drought mitigation programmes are intended to help build up an overall national resilience to drought through broader national development strategies, with special attention to the rural areas.

Major objectives of the drought relief programmes have been to:

Three practical main components related to these overall objectives are:

The Botswana National Development Plan stresses the role of natural resources for present and future generations (GOB-MFDP, 1997). It envisages sustainability as a strategic concept that links populations, economy and natural resources together in the context of long-term socioeconomic development. Economic diversification is seen to be a major strategy element in drought mitigation. The National Development Plan states: “The diversification of the rural economy, the expansion of non-farm employment opportunities in rural areas, and improvements in agricultural efficiency, especially for smallholders, will reduce the vulnerability of the rural areas to drought.”

Disaster management strategies in Mozambique

Mozambique has had ample experience dealing with the detrimental effects of various natural disasters such as floods and droughts (Figure 40). The government created the Department for the Prevention and Response to Natural Disasters (DPCCN) in 1980 to take responsibility for providing humanitarian assistance and overall coordination in disaster response (Manjate, 1997). The DPCCN worked closely with provincial and local government structures, as well as donors and NGOs.

Cyclone Eline (February 2000) - an example of the information available to national disaster management committees

The overall approach to disaster management in Mozambique has recently been reviewed (although the demands of responding to the devastating floods of 2000 and 2001 distracted from major institutional changes). The DPCCN was restructured and renamed the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) in 1999. The INGC was also scaled down to emphasize its role in planning and coordinating emergency prevention and response, rather than the actual operational logistics of distributing aid (FAO, 1998b). There is also a National Council for Disaster Management, comprised of higher-level ministerial staff from pertinent ministries. Although the government has acknowledged that the impacts of and response to disasters such as drought are related to the overall development of the country, there is no formal drought policy as yet. However, the formal policy guiding institutional arrangements for disaster management, including drought and the relationship with other national policies, is under review.

Drought management strategies in South Africa

In the 1990s, South Africa implemented major changes in policy related to agriculture, land use and drought. During the 1992 drought, a large number of NGOs and government departments launched the National Consultative Forum on Drought (NCFD) to coordinate a response to the drought crisis in the country. This initiative represented the broadest grouping of forces in the history of drought response in the country (AFRA, 1993). The objective of the NCFD was to ensure that relief reached the worst affected sectors and to promote the cause of the rural poor.

A new approach to disaster management was adopted in a white paper on disaster management (GOSA-MPACD, 1999) and the ensuing Disaster Management Act (Act 57 of 2002). Unlike previous policies that focused mainly on relief and recovery efforts, this act highlights the importance of preventing human, economic and property losses, and avoiding environmental degradation. This new approach aims to:

The act is administered by the Department of Provincial and Local Government. It prescribes the establishment of disaster management structures at national, provincial and municipal levels. At the national level, these include: an intergovernmental committee on disaster management, a national disaster management advisory forum, a national disaster management framework, and a national disaster management centre. The duties of the latter include: communication with role players, establishing a disaster management information system, and the development of disaster management plans and strategies. At the provincial level, disaster management structures include the following (per province): a provincial disaster management advisory forum; a disaster management centre; a provincial disaster management framework; and provincial disaster management plans. Equivalent structures are to be established in each metropolitan and district municipality.

The responsibility for developing a national drought management strategy to slot into the national disaster management plan was assigned to the Department of Agriculture. A draft agriculture disaster management plan (GOSA-DOA, 2003a) and a drought management strategy (GOSA-DOA, 2003b) followed. The following priority areas and programmes were proposed for addressing drought and drought management:

In order to fulfil its role and responsibilities, the Department of Agriculture established the Directorate of Agricultural Risk and Disaster Management consisting of three subdirectorates: one for information, policy and implementation; one for early warning; and one for post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation.

The following measures are in place or are in the process of establishment:

Drought management strategies in Zimbabwe

Throughout the recent drought periods in Zimbabwe, the response by the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ), local communities and authorities, as well as donors, has focused on short-term emergency response. Most local government authorities lacked the capacity to react to these disasters, let alone prepare for them in an effort to mitigate the possible impact of drought. The GOZ realized the need to develop appropriate action plans to counter both the short-term and long-term effects of drought, to develop institutional capacity, and to invest more resources in order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable population groups.

To address these issues, the GOZ developed the National Policy on Drought Management (NPDM), which was formulated in 1998 and approved in 1999 (GOZ-NEPC, 1999). The policy document discusses general drought management issues and reviews government capacities and structures to deal with drought preparedness, mitigation and response issues. Special emphasis was placed on developing sustainable livelihoods for those populations most at risk to drought-induced shocks. The policy states that these activities should be integrated with other developmental programmes and projects and that they should form an integral part of all district-, provincial- and national-level development policy and planning processes.

The NPDM emphasizes long-term drought mitigation measures, such as the harvesting and efficient utilization of water, increased agricultural productivity in both commercial and communal areas, land use planning and proper management of national resources and the environment. This paradigm emphasizes forward planning, preparedness, prevention, mitigation response, recovery and rehabilitation. The policy is designed to facilitate the sharing of risk between government and farmers, while building the capacity of individuals and communities at household level to plan and undertake activities that utilize household resources efficiently and effectively. Livelihood sustainability is premised on a balance between economically efficient and ecologically sound options for households to make a living and cope with the short- and long-term impacts of drought.

In order to achieve these objectives, the NPDM will be operationalized through a number of strategies including:

Zimbabwe’s agriculture policy also recognizes that the country is susceptible to recurrent droughts. The Ministries of Lands and Agriculture, Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and Local Government coordinate the development of policies and strategies to minimize the effects of drought. The thrust of the government’s agriculture policy is to reduce the current emphasis on the provision of food aid in favour of a broad approach involving the development of sound strategies and schemes that help families to cope with the effects of drought. The strategy involves an improvement in water availability through the expansion of irrigation schemes, water harnessing by construction of dams, and the equitable distribution of water for irrigation. The policy also highlights the need for intensive research on improving the tolerance of staple food crops to drought and diseases.

Water policies and strategies in the SADC region

General SADC water policies

In the past decade, SADC has been in the process of developing a regional water policy and strategy as well as harmonizing national policies and legislation related to water management. In the SADC region, water is an important transboundary issue and will require well-coordinated efforts between the various countries to manage the water resources properly. SADC has realized the need for integrated water resources development and management in the region in order to combat issues such as drought, floods, and food security.

In view of the above, SADC established the SADC Water Sector Coordinating Unit (SADC-WSCU) in 1996. The overall responsibility and day-to-day coordination of activities was entrusted to the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, within the Ministry of Natural Resources. The vision of the SADC-WSCU was: “to attain the sustainable, integrated planning, the development, utilization and management of water resources that contribute to the attainment of SADC’s overall objectives of an integrated regional economy on the basis of balance, equity and mutual benefit for all member States.”

In pursuit of the above vision, the SADC member countries have developed a legal framework in the form of the SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses that should be applied to all water related developments and management (SADC-WSCU, 1995). Eleven member states signed this protocol in August 1995 and it came into force in 1998 after ratification by the required two-thirds majority of the SADC member states. Recently, the SADC-WSCU has amended this protocol, now called Shared Watercourse Systems Ptrotocols, in order to incorporate the current developments in international law and to align them with other accepted international legal instruments (SADC-WSCU, 2001). One example is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses, adopted by the UN General Assembly in April 1997.

In 1997, with the assistance of the UNDP, the SADC-WSCU embarked on the development of a regional strategic action plan (RSAP) on integrated water resources development and management (SADC-WSCU, 1998). This action plan represents a five-year (1999-2004) programme framework and contains 31 prioritized project concepts. These projects were presented to the Cooperating Partners at the Geneva Round Table Conference in December 1998. The plan and various donors selected individual projects for support. The final 31 project concept notes (PCNs) addressed eight major issues: legal and regulatory framework; institutional strengthening; sustainable development policies; information acquisition, management and dissemination; education and training; awareness building; public participation; and infrastructure. In relation to these major issues, the RSAP aims to harmonize policy, legislation and management of water sources in general and transboundary water sources in particular in the region.

The establishment of the SADC-WSCU and development of the Shared Watercourse Systems Protocol represent important strides towards realizing the importance of water in the region in achieving the strategic and development objective of the SADC of poverty alleviation, food security and industrial development. SADC member countries hope to achieve these goals through the implementation of the above initiatives. Many of these initiatives will have a direct impact on the management of the Limpopo River Basin or they mention explicitly the Limpopo River Basin as the project or pilot area (Box 22).

The cooperation between the countries regarding water resources has developed to reflect specific countries’ demands. For example, in 1983, Botswana and South Africa had already established a joint permanent technical committee to deal with water matters of interest to these two countries. A joint permanent technical commission replaced this in 1989, followed by a water commission in November 1995 (Pallett, 1997). It was noted that a commission has more legal power than a committee, which explains the effort to establish commissions. Other examples of multinational water agreements are:


The Director of Water Affairs is the registrar of the Water Apportionment Board, provides the secretariat and acts as technical advisor to the board. The Water Act and the Borehole Act, administered by the board, require individuals or groups to apply for a right to use irrigation water. Responsibility for planning and implementation of irrigation development rests with the Ministry of Agriculture.

BOX 22

Selected project concept notes from the SADC-WSCU Shared Watercourse Systems Protocol


Generic replicable methodologies will be tested on pilot river basins, of which one is the Limpopo River Basin. Among others, the Limpopo Technical Committee is to be involved. USAID and the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) are the donors giving the support to piloting in the Limpopo River Basin. Currently, the Terms of Reference for the implementation of the Protocol and the River Basin Management Approach on the Limpopo are being prepared.


In this project USAID will collaborate with FAO and UNEP to support policy review processes in selected countries i.e. the Limpopo River Basin riparian States.


The Limpopo River Basin has been selected as one pilot area. One of the outputs will be an assessment report of the Limpopo/Save Basin aquifer. Initial elaboration of this PCN was done in 1998 with support from UNEP. The French Cooperation is spearheading the implementation of the whole programme through the Technical Assistance (TA) at WSCU.

Additionally, the two regional projects below will have long-term implications on the Limpopo River Basin:


The project rationale is that much of the negotiation over shared water resources will depend on the development of compatible policy and legislative frameworks at national level together with the requisite institutional capacity. These frameworks and capacities are essential if each country is to negotiate shared water resources from equal positions.

The purpose of the GEF grant will be to support the development of domestic water resources legislation of SADC member countries and on its administration. Thus, facilitating meaningful negotiations on and implementation of treaty obligations concerning, the management, development and conservation of the water resources of rivers, lakes and underground aquifers the SADC member countries share with one another or with each other across their international boundary lines. FAO is the leading Cooperating partner with support from GEF.


The long-term objective with this initiative is to formulate a Regional Integrated Water Resources Development and Management Policy and Strategy for the SADC Region. The expected project outputs are as follows:

Regional Water Sector Policy and Strategy formulated and approved by the SADC Water Sector Committee of Ministers and the SADC Council of Ministers.

The Regional Water Sector Policy and Strategy is being implemented and respected by SADC member States as a framework to guide cooperation in water resources and management in the SADC region.

A consultative process for soliciting stakeholders’ views on the long-term Water Sector Policy and Strategy is functioning effectively.

Botswana accepts that food self-sufficiency is neither achievable nor sustainable. Therefore, its objectives are to improve food security at both household and national levels by giving top priority to production systems and programmes that are sustainable, efficient in resources and environmentally compatible. Any proposed irrigation project must be economically viable and sustainable. Botswana faces a substantial shortfall in water supplies (Box 23) as competing uses and consequent high opportunity cost of water makes irrigation uneconomic. Therefore, any further large-scale irrigation is doubtful (GOB, 1992a).

BOX 23

Botswana’s vulnerability to water problems

The 1997 UN Comprehensive Freshwater Assessment showed that southern Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions for water-related problems. The water resources problem is seen as a potential limit to development and a stress on population and economic growth. The assessment classified the water resources of Botswana and Namibia as stressed and moving towards being very vulnerable by 2025.

While national-level data show Botswana withdrawing only 4 percent of its available water, the 1992 National Water Master Plan of Botswana predicted that the capital, Gaborone, will run out of water within the next 10 years based on current supplies and population forecasts. Gaborone, expected to be one of the main centres of growth of the SADC region into the twenty-first century, receives its water supply primarily from surface water sources. In fact, groundwater is considered a non-renewable resource because of the very low recharge rates, and will only be used in cases of emergency to augment existing surface water supplies in Gaborone.

Source: IIASA (1998).


The Water Law of 1991 defines the institutional and legal framework for the licensing and allocation of water concessions (Box 24). Under this law, the National Water Council provides intersector coordination and strategic decision-making (GOM, 1991).

BOX 24

Institutions involved in water and irrigation development in Mozambique

The National Water Council was created in 1991. It coordinated the four ministries involved in water development: the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Industry, and the Ministry of Construction and Water (which chaired the council). The council’s main function was to develop a national water management policy, and to monitor its execution.

The National Water Directorate (DNA) is one of the four directorates of the Ministry of Construction and Water. Its objectives are to ensure the proper utilization of groundwater and surface water resources.

The recently created Regional Water Administrations or Administraçaoes regional de agues (ARAs), which are basin authorities responsible for water development and management, have administrative and financial autonomy but report to the DNA. The ARAs are also in charge of collecting hydrological information. The only ARA created by the end of 1994 was ARA-sul, in charge of the southern part of the country up to the Save River, where most problems of water management exist.

The Secretariat of State of Agricultural Hydraulics (SEHA), under the Ministry of Agriculture, is the coordinating authority for activities relating to irrigation and drainage. Inside the SEHA, a programme has been created specifically for small-scale irrigation (Programa nacional de irrigacao de pequena escala).

Source: GOM (1991).

The government programme for 1994-99 had as its main objective the reconstruction of the national social and economic structure. In this context, a national water policy was published in 1995 (GOM-DNA 1995) and included the following salient aspects:

South Africa

The water sector in South Africa was completely reformed following the elections in 1994. The reform process led to a series of documents and principles to guide the water management and development of South Africa. These principles guided the intensive programme of work involving the minister and other political leaders, officials from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and other government departments, organized user groups and South Africans in a process of consultation, research and synthesis. One of the results has been a new national water act, which was approved in 1998, as well as progress to integrating these concepts with other policies, such as drought, disaster and agriculture (Box 25).

BOX 25

South Africa’s water sector reform documents

Water Supply and Sanitation Policy White Paper, November 1994.

Fundamental Principles and Objectives for a New Water Law in South Africa.

White Paper on the National Sanitation Policy, July 1996.

White Paper on Water Policy, April 1997.

Water Services Bill, published in the Government Gazette, May 1997.

National Water Bill, September 1997.

Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997).

Drought policy - water issues, June 1997.

National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998), August 1998.

Drought and Agricultural Disaster Policy Development.

National Water Resource Strategy, August 2002.

White Paper on Water Policy of 1997

The White Paper on Water Policy was the product of two years of hard work and wide consultation and it represented the policy of the Government of South Africa, as approved by Cabinet on 30 April 1997. The White Paper forms an important part of the review and reform of the Water Law in South Africa, and many of these proposals are relevant to water sector reform beyond South Africa. Some of the key proposals are:

Some of these proposals will probably pose a challenge to large water users. However, the White Paper states that the objective of the policy is not solely to promote equity in access to and benefit from the nation’s water resources for all South Africans, but to make sure that the needs and challenges of South Africa in the twenty-first century can be addressed. Similarly, both the farming and the mining industry will probably have to re-evaluate their use of and impact on the water resources, and will have to pay a price for water that reflects the real economic cost, including the indirect costs to society and the environment for their water use. Other sectors, particularly the rest of industry, will also come under pressure to clean up their activities. Local governments (and the domestic users they serve) will have to examine the way they use and often waste water. Promoters of the needs of the environment will also have to justify the degree of environmental protection they seek.

National Water Act of 1998

The introductory text of South Africa’s National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998) states that its purpose is to ensure that the nation’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in ways that take into account, inter alia:

For achieving this purpose, the act will establish suitable institutions and ensure that they have appropriate community, racial and gender representation.


In 1995, the Government of Zimbabwe embarked on a comprehensive programme to reform the water sector. The review included the development of the Water Resources Management Strategy (ongoing), the creation of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) (GOZ, 1997), the repeal of the Water Act of 1976, and, the development of the new Water Act of 1998 (GOZ, 1998). Zimbabwe chose not to establish a water resources management policy document as such. Instead, the three components were developed simultaneously in order to ensure coherence between the water legislation and the water management strategy. The following documents were produced within the scope of the review:

The development of the above documents was completed in a three-year period guided by fundamental principles adopted from several international conventions and declarations (e.g. Dublin Principles and Agenda 21). These principles include:

Zimbabwe National Water Act of 1998

After independence, and with the frequency of droughts experienced in Zimbabwe, many experts and ordinary people alike called for a complete revision of the old Water Act of 1976, most notably, because this act failed to serve the interests of all Zimbabweans and to meet the needs of contemporary society.

One of the major areas of concern was access to water. The allocation of water rights under the Water Act of 1976 was based on the principle of “first come, first served”. The water rights were issued in perpetuity as long as they were being used beneficially. This provided an unfair advantage to those rights holders that were in a position to establish the first claim. In areas with water shortages, the act prevented newcomers from obtaining a share of the resource. The skewed distribution of land carried with it the skewed distribution of water as most communal people are settled in the drier parts of the country, such as the Limpopo River Basin. The demand for water rights for agricultural use increased especially after independence. However, the situation became particularly acute during periods of drought.

The Water Act of 1998 introduced a number of new features in the management and use of water resources. Its essential features include:

The Water Act also introduces fees for applications for permits to use water and for the commercial use of water. There are also charges for the permission to discharge any effluent into streams or water bodies. Moreover, economic penalties have been introduced in respect of contravention of the act.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA)

The Government of Zimbabwe formed the ZINWA in May 1994 to coordinate the functions of regional water authorities and those of the Department of Water Resources, and to operate on commercial lines. It was considered that, in spite of the provisions of the Water Act, too much attention was given to the provision of water supplies with little effort being directed to planning and policy-making (GOZ, 1997). ZINWA would primarily be a water management and bulk raw-water- supplying parastatal. It would work closely with the catchment and subcatchment councils, involving a very high degree of stakeholder participation, whose functions would include assisting in catchment planning, environmental protection and water allocation. There would also be a commercialized engineering services section in ZINWA.

Institutions and services

Institutional, policy and service environments change constantly, particularly in young democracies. This section should to be viewed in that context.

SADC drought-related structures and services

Readily available information is critical for the effective management of drought and for targeted mitigation measures to reduce vulnerability of households. Historically, early-warning systems were geared towards the biophysical aspects of agricultural production, especially climate events and abnormalities in rainfall amounts and patterns that may affect regional and national food security.

The SADC Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Sector

Since 1980, the 14-nation SADC has implemented a programme of action covering cooperation in various sectors including food security, and hence developed a food security strategy (FSS). The main objective of the FSS (SADC, 2003) is to ensure adequate food availability to meet the needs of individual households and the population of the region as a whole, and that the individual households have access to food. Over time, increasing emphasis has been placed on the demand side of the food security issue, focusing on household economies and vulnerable groups. The coordination of the Food Security Programme is the responsibility of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate. The following principles underpin the Food Security Programme:

The scope of the Food Security Programme has widened over time and now encompasses issues of general economic development, trade, investment and poverty. This requires a clear understanding of intersectoral links and the promotion of policies to facilitate economic development rather than direct intervention in production and marketing. The following are strategic objectives of the FANR:

A major component of the Food Security Programme is the SADC Food Security and Rural Development Hub. This is a regional resource facility meant to act as a catalyst for rural development in member countries through capacity building and resource mobilization at local and regional level. The main activities of the hub include:

Other FANR programmes and projects are mentioned below.

Regional FANR Coordination and Cooperation Programme

This programme provides the core financial and technical support for the processes of cooperation within the SADC on all food security, agricultural development and natural resources development issues. FANR is responsible for implementing the food security programme as well as coordinating and providing direction to the cluster of sectors within the overall FANR sector. The main functions are developing sectoral policy and strategies and coordinating the activities of the overall cluster of FANR sectors.

Regional Information System for Food Security

The generation and exchange of information relating to all aspects of food security, ranging from information about policies through socioeconomic data of economies to data concerning the nutrition of households is an essential prerequisite for decision-making across all the facets of the FANR sector. The main components of the programme are:

Example of FEWS NET products: Southern Africa water requirement satisfaction index for maize for Dekad 28 (10/1-10, 2003)

Source: SADC-FANR (2003).

These projects are interlinked and each contributes (or will contribute) to the body of information that is collected, analysed, disseminated by or stored within the system. Together, these subprogrammes will provide data relating to: climate, crop production (mainly cereals) and requirements, national and household-level economic indicators, prices and the welfare of vulnerable groups. The data will be stored centrally and made available in printed and electronic form.

SADC Drought Monitoring Centre

The Drought Monitoring Centre (DMC) is charged with the responsibility of monitoring climate extremes, especially drought, in a timely manner with respect to their intensity, geographical extent, duration and impact upon various socioeconomic sectors, and of giving early warning for the formulation of appropriate strategies to combat the adverse effects of climate extremes. This contributes towards minimizing the negative impacts of climate extremes to the socio-economic environment.

The centre was established in 1991 and is colocated at the premises of the Zimbabwe Meteorological Service. It provides output products and services to its member states (SADC) and regional institutions, such as the Regional Early Warning System, and collaborates with other major climate centres. The primary roles of the DMC include:

The CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food

The Limpopo River Basin was identified as one of three benchmark basins in Africa to provide a geographical focus for research under the Challenge Programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The objectives of the Challenge Programme (starting in 2004 and running for five years) are: to increase the productivity of water for food and livelihoods in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable; to maintain global diversions of water to agriculture at the level in 2000, while increasing food production to achieve internationally adopted targets for decreasing malnourishment and rural poverty by 2015; food security for all at household level; poverty alleviation through increased sustainable livelihoods in rural and peri-urban areas; and improved health through better nutrition, lower agriculture-related pollution and reduced water-related diseases, and environmental security through improved water quality as well as the maintenance of water-related ecosystem services, including biodiversity.

BOX 26

FEWS NET: goal and services offered


To strengthen the abilities of African countries and regional organizations to manage risk of food insecurity through the provision of timely and analytical early-warning and vulnerability information.


Alerts (drought-, flood-, cyclone-related and more)

Emergencies: When all indicators are fluctuating outside expected seasonal ranges, local production systems and economy are on the brink of collapse, and most households show signs of extreme food insecurity.

Warnings: Rainfall (or environmental) and usual livelihood indicators fluctuate outside expected seasonal ranges, weakening the local economy, and most households show signs of high food insecurity.

Watches: Rainfall (or environmental) indicators show unusual fluctuations outside expected seasonal ranges and most households show signs of moderate food insecurity.


Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) From the red and near infrared reflectances observed by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer sensor on meteorological satellites of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Rainfall estimates: Automated (computer-generated) product which uses Meteosat infrared data, rain gauge reports from the global telecommunications system, and microwave satellite observations; water requirements satisfaction index for selected crops.

Stream flow model flood risk maps: Greater Horn and Southern Region streams and basins from the Southern Africa Flood Network and FEWS NET’s United States Geological Survey (USGS) EROS Data Center.


Pinpoint all relevant reports, remote-sensing imagery, weather and more based on geographical area..

Choose from one of 17 individual countries or Greater Horn (East), Sahel (West) or Southern Region.

Browse monthly report archive listings.


At the centre of FEWS NET’s vision and future direction is the concept of livelihood analysis. Livelihood-based analysis refers to an approach that highlights the specific set of options that people employ in order to obtain food, cash, shelter, and other basic services.


Several times per month, the FEWS NET team broadcasts e-mail to information subscribers. Although this is not a new feature altogether, users may now fully customize their preferences for receiving email based on region, country and interest.

Source: SADC-FANR (2003).

Five interrelated research themes (Box 27) are aimed at ensuring that the same core of key research topics is addressed in all benchmark basins. These themes are intended to serve as the focal point for synthesizing results from the various countries and regions, and bring out generic conclusions from the overall research programme.

BOX 27

CGIAR Challenge Programme research themes


Plant-level perspective: Impact and future directions of plant breeding.

Crop and field-level perspective: New opportunities for integrated natural resource management.

Agro-ecological system perspective: Integrating land and water management.

Policies and institutions facilitating adoption of improvements.


Water, poverty and risk in upper catchments.

Potential for improved water management.

Enabling people to benefit from improved management of land and water resources.


Policies, institutions and governance.

Valuation of ecosystem goods and services, and the cost of degradation.

Environmental water requirements.

Improving water productivity.


Interactions and scales of analysis.

Integrated decision-support tools.

Good governance.


Globalization, trade, macroeconomic and sectoral policies.

Investment and financing for agricultural water development and water supply.

Transboundary water policy and institutions.

Global water cycle change.

National institutions


Ministry of Agriculture (MOA)

MOA operates through the following departments:

MOA launched the National Master Plan for Arable Agriculture and Dairy Development (NAMPAADD) in October 2002 (GOB-MOA, 2002). It aims at streamlining arable agriculture and dairy development programmes to address the following existing policy objectives: improvement in food security at both household and national levels; diversification of the agricultural production base; increased agricultural output and productivity; increased employment opportunities for the fast growing labour force; provision of a secure and productive environment for agricultural producers; and conservation of scarce agricultural and land resources for future generations. The plan is to be implemented over a period of ten years. The first three years of implementation will include the establishment of pilot projects in areas of high production potential designated as priority areas in the master plan. The NAMPAADD will:


The Botswana Meat Commission has a statutory monopoly over the export of beef, by-products, processed and canned meat, and live cattle. Therefore, it provides the major market for most producers. The Botswana Livestock Development Corporation acts as the public-sector buyer of cattle in the remote areas of the country where buying demand is at its weakest. It also supplies quality breeding animals. The Botswana Vaccine Institute produces and supplies vaccines (including exports) and conducts research. The Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board buys products from farmers and sells inputs. The Botswana College of Agriculture, an associate institution of the University of Botswana, offers certificate, diploma, higher diploma and degree courses in agriculture, extension and related fields.

Other institutions

Other institutions include the National Development Bank of Botswana, the Botswana Development Corporation, cooperative societies, agricultural management associations, commercial banks, private cattle traders, and a range of NGOs. Other government departments with important roles as far as agriculture is concerned include the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications (rural infrastructure), the Departments of Geological Surveys and Water Affairs in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs (water and boreholes), and the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing (land allocation). In the context of drought management, the National Early Warning Unit comprises representatives of different MOA departments and the Ministries of Works and Health in association with SADC structures.

Administrative structures

The machinery of local government in Botswana reflects a long tradition of democratic consultation and devolved decision-making, and plays a crucial role in development processes, particularly in rural areas. There are four different types of local authorities:


The institutional environment in Mozambique underwent a process of revitalization after 1990, the year in which the new constitution was adopted. Foreign aid and advisors played a role in this process. Table 28 lists some of the prominent national institutions of relevance to basin issues.

International organizations in Mozambique

Owing to the severe economic plight of postwar Mozambique, the country has received aid from many governments in the developed world and from international institutions. The attention was drawn to Mozambique of vast numbers of university departments from all over the developed world and many cooperative research projects were undertaken. International experts assisted with the development of structures and strategies for revitalized government departments. Major permanent foreign aid structures include the UN, USAID and World Bank.

The UN System in Mozambique (UN, 2003) comprises resident programme and/or funding agencies such as UNDP, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and WFP, and specialized agencies, such as FAO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, non-resident UN agencies have participated in the preparation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). UNDAF is the principal country-level component of global UN reform to maximize goal-oriented development cooperation in support of Mozambique’s economic and social development. UNDAF enables the UN System in Mozambique, in collaboration with its partners, to harmonize development efforts and strive for programmatic coherence and mutual reinforcement. In addition, non-resident UN agencies plan activities under the umbrella of UNDAF, and are committed to the UNDAF principles of cooperation and coordination. While each agency has its own individual country programme based on its mandate, the heads of all resident UN agencies constitute the United Nations Country Management Team (UNCMT). The Bretton Woods Institutions, i.e. the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are invited to participate in the UNCMT as partners, and the World Bank has collaborated in the formulation of the UNDAF and its implementation through their own instruments. The UNCMT is guided by a set of common goals, objectives, and coordination modalities. Progress towards these goals is monitored by a set of common core indicators that measure the contribution and impact of the UN System on national capacity and development.

In support of Mozambique’s Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA) to reduce poverty by one-third by 2010 and its commitments to international human rights instruments, the UN System in Mozambique seeks to empower all Mozambicans - independent of gender, race, age, religion, political affiliation, and economic or social status - to participate in and gain from the development process in an equitable manner. Box 28 details UN involvement in relief work during the 2001 floods.

Some of the prominent national institutions in Mozambique




Agriculture and Rural Development

National Directorate of Forestry and Wildlife

Forestry and wildlife administration, research, economics and development

Agricultural Market Information System

Agricultural marketing

Early Warning Department

Inter alia, crop estimates

National Directorate of Livestock

Inter alia, disease outbreak management (Newcastle disease, African swine fever, ticks and tick-borne diseases, and trypanosomiasis)

National Directorate of Agriculture

Provincial directorates of agriculture

National Directorate of Rural Extension

Agricultural extension

Unit of Agriculture Emergency Coordination (UCEA)

Coordination of flood relief in coordination with UN agencies

Cotton Institute

Agriculture Sector Public Expenditure Programme

Sustainable and equitable growth in the agriculture sector; reducing poverty and improve household food security; and protecting the physical and social environment

Public Works and Housing

National Directorate of Water

Rural and urban water policies and their implementation; strategic and integrated planning; international rivers; and provision of water supplies and sanitation services

Transportation and communication

National Institute of Meteorology

Meteorological data collection, databases and information dissemination

Environmental Action Coordination

Biological inventories and conservation

Higher Education, Science and Technology

National Institute for Agronomic Research

Agricultural and natural resources research


Regulation and administration of fisheries industry; semi-industrial fisheries; artisanal fisheries; small-scale fisheries; fish processing; and information and training


Health strategies; integrated provincial planning; province-based support programmes; donor pooling arrangements; subsector programmes and strategies; and information systems


Policies, strategies and action plans for promoting the tourism industry, which is to be driven essentially by private sector initiatives

Women and Social Action Coordination

Provincial directorates

People with disability; women’s rights, and children

In 2003, the USAID programme focused on increased rural household income, effective democratic governance, increased use of essential maternal/child health and family planning services, and an enabling environment for private sector-led growth and development. USAID field activities targeted the most populous and high-potential areas of the country, i.e. the provinces of Manica, Nampula, Sofala and Zambezia, which are outside the Limpopo River Basin (USAID, 2003).

Mozambique joined the World Bank Group in 1984. Beginning with a credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association for rehabilitation in 1985, the portfolio comprises 21 active projects with commitments of US$1 100 million in all major sectors in 2003.

The World Bank and other donors fully endorse Mozambique’s poverty reduction agenda defined in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), in Mozambique also called the PARPA, which was presented to the World Bank and the IMF boards in 2001. The PRSP was subsequently updated in the first PRSP Progress Report of February 2003.

The PRSP/PARPA was developed through a participatory process. The key objective is the reduction of absolute poverty, and it identifies the following fundamental action areas: education, health, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure, good governance, and macroeconomic and financial management. Other areas of action as identified in the PRSP/PARPA include: employment and business development, social action, housing, fisheries, tourism, processing industry, transport and communication, technology, environment, and reduction of vulnerability to natural disasters.

BOX 28

UN initiatives for minimizing the impact of water disasters during the 2001 floods in Mozambique


Created a web site for the Mozambique floods, set up a financial tracking page for donations and issued regular situation reports.

With the Office of the Resident Coordinator, established the Emergency Coordination Unit, comprised of internationally and locally recruited emergency specialists and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) who were placed with provincial teams in Beira, Quelimane, Chimoio, Tete and Maputo, and as coordinators for the data/information, communications, and public relations/media UN emergency clusters.

In collaboration with the United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT), the Office of the Resident Coordinator provided daily situation reports, mapping, emergency cluster meetings, daily updated website with weather, river and dam levels, UNDMT member reports, cyclone tracking, situation reports, reporting to donors and government, etc.


Acted as the lead UN agency coordinating the UN Logistics Cluster and, thus, giving direct support to the UN family, especially UNICEF and FAO by facilitating warehousing and shipment of food and non-food items including medicines, water and sanitation supplies, and seeds and tools, as well as assisting partners with office space, equipment and staff support.

WFP and UNICEF headed the UN Assessment Cluster’s formulation and piloting of emergency data gathering instruments in close consultation with OCHA, USAID, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and NGOs.

Provided staff to set up a Joint Logistics Coordination Centre (JLOC) in Beira, the capital of Sofala Province and the centre of coordination for the humanitarian programme. At its peak, the JLOC was operating with 20 aircrafts. WFP managed the fleet and contributed US$2.5 million for air operations until the end of April. WFP also hired barges and boats to transport beans, rice and high-energy biscuits for Beira, Quelimane, Mutarara, Marromeu, Chinde and other locations to supplement stocks.

Established the first requirements for field communications for the UN System and partners including installation of repeaters, e-mail, HF radio installations, and emergency hub and travel linkages on common frequencies. The OCHA Communications Coordinator then worked with WFP and UNDP to ensure proper installation, maintenance, and information to partners, including the INGC.

Established a technical working group on food requirements to arrive at a consolidated picture of food needs. Technical working groups were formed in the Ministries of Health, Education, Public Works and Housing. Government, UN agencies, and donors led these groups, and NGOs took part together.

WFP fed some 230 000 displaced persons in 65 temporary accommodation centres in the four affected provinces. By the end of May, about 8 000 tonnes of mixed food commodities had been distributed by ten different implementing partners.


Coordinated the UN family’s assessment and response in the area of water and sanitation and was asked by the government in late March to provide overall coordination of the sector.

Led the UN Education Cluster and was a joint coordinator of the Assessment Cluster with WFP and OCHA. In addition, was a member of the Logistics, Shelter and Public Information Clusters.

Assisted WHO to coordinate the UN Health Cluster.

In collaboration with WFP, formulated and piloted needs assessment forms for emergency data gathering and analysis.

Provided emergency staff as part of Sofala and Zambezia UN team operations.

Provided malaria drugs sufficient to treat 1 million people, and sent teams into the field in the affected areas to conduct public awareness campaigns on health and hygiene.

Provided support to the Ministry of Health for campaigns to control measles and meningitis through vaccinations and for vitamin-A supplements and helped with training government health staff in the provinces of Zambezia, Sofala and Tete in the prevention and case management of diarrhoea and cholera.

Supported the provision of clean water in the temporary accommodation centres, by supplying water treatment equipment, bladders, tap stands and chlorine.

Through partner NGOs, distributed jerry cans, buckets and soap, as well as 32 000 latrine slabs and plastic sheeting for shelter. About 11 000 latrines were installed, benefiting 220 000 people.

NGO activists were trained in hygiene promotion in the accommodation centres.

Supported nutritional surveys, and subsequent preparation of a 4-month blanket supplementary feeding programme to cover 66 000 people, including children (6 months to 5 years), pregnant women and nursing mothers. Technical and financial assistance provided to implement the programme.

Supported a social marketing campaign to promote the use of insecticide treated bed nets, 45 000 of which were procured for distribution to the accommodation centres.

To assist children return to school as quickly as possible, UNICEF (through the Save the Children Fund) supported the Ministry of Education to distribute school kits (60 294) and writing boards, as well as family kits to affected teachers.

Supplied 60 tents to the Ministry of Education for use as temporary classrooms in accommodation centres and where school buildings were destroyed.

Telecommunications and logistics support for UN and government partners.


Funded by the OCHA, FAO assisted the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Emergency Coordination Unit (UCEA), which is set to become a permanent structure.

With FAO technical support, the UCEA prepared weekly updates of numbers of affected families and areas lost as a result of permanent field assessments.

FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) called for a donor meeting in early March with the objective of funding agricultural kits to be provided to affected families. The meeting was successful and total coverage for the number of affected farming families was obtained.

Up to 80 000 households benefited from the distribution of seeds and tools to plant a second season crop. FAO provided agricultural kits for 30 500 households, with funds from Italy. The kits were distributed by various NGOs based in the affected districts of the provinces of Tete, Manica, Sofala and Zambezia in coordination with local authorities.


Recruited four volunteers each for OCHA and WFP, as well as seconding many others to tasks in the emergency relief operations.

Provided equipment and logistics support to start the coordination centre in Beira.

Funding volunteers to work with the Mozambique Red Cross in the temporary accommodation centres.


Coordinated the UN Health Cluster.

Provided technical specialists for malaria, cholera, and malnutrition assessments and action planning in collaboration with UNICEF ensuring that sufficient medicines were made available in country. Provided US$83 420 of additional assistance for medicine kits and supported operational costs of the assessments.

Provided insecticides for shelter spraying in the accommodation centres.

Supported action plan for emergency diseases of Ministry of Health.

UN health focal point in the INGC health technical committee.


Coordinated the UN Cluster for Shelter, partnering with the Mozambican Red Cross and the Ministry of Public Works.

Seconded staff to serve as food, communications, and coordination emergency staff for WFP and OCHA.

Supported the UNV office to ensure quick and appropriate UNV selection, secondment and placement through a grant of US$100 000.

Ensured vehicle and equipment secondment and pooling for immediate emergency response needs.

Source: SARPN (2004).

One of the key challenges in achieving sustainable improvements in poverty indicators derives from the rising numbers of HIV infections. Aside from its direct impact on poverty-related indicators, this will also have severe consequences for the productive labour force and, hence, for growth. Multicountry evidence suggests that at HIV prevalence rates of 15 percent, GDP growth per capita is reduced by about 0.8 percent. Therefore, Mozambique is vulnerable to substantive reversals of its development process. Action is needed now at all levels of society in order to control the spread of HIV.

Other key constraints on the implementation of the PRSP/PARPA reform programmes include: the increasing disparity between a booming mega-projects sector and a small and medium-sized enterprise sector that the business environment does not adequately support; corruption, particularly in the financial sector; and a weak banking sector.

South Africa

Considerable transformation has taken place in the institutional environment since the change to a representative government in 1994. In the new dispensation, a relatively large spectrum of functions is delegated to the provincial and municipal levels. For the first time, all land has come under the jurisdiction of municipalities. The Department of Land Affairs was constituted to regulate inter alia issues of land reform (land claims, land redistribution and making state land available to communities). Probably the most important change of all was the abolition of all racial restrictions on land ownership.

Table 29 lists prominent South African institutions with direct relevance to basin issues. It does not list a large number of institutions with indirect relevance, e.g. universities in other provinces that draw students inter alia from the basin area. Of the institutions listed, only those branches and functions with relevance to the basin are indicated.


Table 30 lists key Zimbabwean institutions relevant to land-related issues.

International agencies

Land-related non-SADC international agencies operating in Zimbabwe include the African Centre for Fertilizer Development (ACFD), ICRISAT, and the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA).

ACFD is a non-profit, autonomous international centre of the Organization for African Unity, governed by a board of directors and recognized as an international agency by the Government of Zimbabwe. It aims at stimulating the production and use of fertilizers. It operates in terms of a technical cooperation agreement with the International Fertilizer Development Centre (the United States of America). ACFD consists of two technical divisions, one for research and development and one for technology transfer. The programmes of ACFD are: land resource management, policy analysis, resource development and utilization, marketing services, human resource development, information services and engineering advisory services.

The heads of government of the SADC countries requested ICRISAT to establish a regional sorghum and millet research programme for southern Africa. An agreement for initiating the sorghum and millet improvement programmes, funded by the USAID, the GTZ and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), was signed in September 1983 and the programme centre was established at Matopos near Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. In 1999, ICRISAT expanded its work and staff in the region under a new agreement with the Government of Zimbabwe. Work continued to be headquartered in Zimbabwe and conducted on a regional basis. ICRISAT consists of: Programme Director’s Office, Site Leader’s Office, Administrative Unit, Crop Improvement Unit, Natural Resource Management Unit, and the Farm and Physical Plant Services.

The ILCA is one of 17 international agricultural research centres financed through the CGIAR, an informal association of countries, international organizations, and private institutions. The mandate of the ILCA is to assist the efforts of countries in tropical Africa to increase the sustained yield and output of livestock products and to improve the quality of life of the people in the region. Its research structure concentrates on the three most important ruminant species in Africa: cattle, sheep and goats.

Major donors, such as DFID and USAID, have limited or no development programmes in Zimbabwe.

South African institutional environment




Department of Agriculture #

Farmer support and development

Agricultural risk management

Farmer settlement

Agricultural finance and cooperative development

Food security and rural development

Trade and business development

Domestic marketing

International trade

Business and entrepreneurial development

Sustainable resources use and management

Water use and irrigation development

Land use and soil management

Scientific research and development

Agricultural production

Animal and aqua production

Plant production

Communication, planning and information management

Education and training

Agricultural information services

International relations

Limpopo Provincial Government

Department of Agriculture and Environment

Land redistribution; land use planning; resource conservation; control of pests and noxious weeds; infrastructure; policy development; empowering small emerging farmers; agricultural statistics

Department of Finance, Economic Affairs, Tourism and Environment

Trade and industry; tourism; economic planning, research and policy

Department of Health and Welfare

District health systems; social welfare programmes; poverty alleviation

North West Provincial Government

Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment

Sustainable natural resource management

Gauteng Provincial Government

Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs

Sustainable agriculture; household food security; farmer settlement and support; commercial farming; resource conservation and development

Agricultural Research Council


Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops;

Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute

Research and technology exchange on all aspects of the cultivation of tropical and subtropical crops, potatoes, vegetables, hydroponic production, indigenous vegetables and indigenous flowers

Grain and industrial crops:

Grain Crops Institute;

Small Grain Institute

Institute for Industrial Crops

Research and technology exchange on all aspects of the cultivation of grain and industrial crops (maize, sunflower, dry beans, sorghum, groundnut, soybeans, cowpeas, millets, lupins, bambara, cotton, tobacco, hemp, flax, sisal, kenaf and indigenous fibre crops). Included are: cultivar evaluation, plant breeding, improvement of crop quality, weed control, tillage, plant nutrition, water utilization, plant pathology, entomology and nematology.


Animal Improvement Institute;

Animal Nutrition and Products Institute;

Range and Forage Institute;

Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute

Sustainable animal resource conservation and utilization; livestock production for global competitiveness; livestock-based technology transfer and dissemination; maintenance of animal improvement schemes and gene, data and DNA banks; waste and effluent management; probiotics and culture management; product technology and sensory analysis services to the food and beverage industries; food safety and hygiene; laboratory diagnosis of animal diseases; production of vaccine against foot and mouth disease (FMD); research into various aspects of FMD and African swine fever, particularly their epi-zootiologies; other highly communicable diseases; training of veterinarians and laboratory workers in the recognition of dangerous epizootic diseases and in laboratory techniques; sustainable utilization of rangeland, pasture and livestock resources; sustainable improvement of animal products (meat, dairy and fibre)

Public support services:

Institute for Soil, Climate and Water;

Institute for Agricultural Engineering;

Plant Protection Research Institute

Characterization of soil resources; natural resources monitoring, auditing and impact assessment (climate stations and data bank); sustainable natural resources use and management; information technology; sustainable rural livelihoods; development and application of engineering technology for sustainable utilization and development of resources; protection, and reclamation of deteriorated natural resources; development of human resources in agricultural engineering technology; biosystematic services (national collections of insects, arachnids, nematodes and fungi); agricultural biodiversity information systems; integrated pest management in crops, plantations and stored products; plant pathology research and services; weeds and alien invaders; beneficial organisms

Department of Land Affairs


Promoting equity for victims of dispossession by the State, particularly the landless and the rural poor; facilitating development initiatives by bringing together all stakeholders relevant to land claims; promoting reconciliation through the restitution process; contributing towards an equitable redistribution of land rights; farmer settlement; commonages; equity schemes; non-agricultural enterprises

Land tenure reform and support services

State land policy and administration

Department of Water Affairs and Forestry

Policy and regulation

Water resources planning and management; policy formulation; international projects; geohydrology; hydrology; catchment management; water conservation; water quality management; water utilization; Working for Water ##


Sanitation management; commercial and community forestry; indigenous forests; water development (construction).

Water Research Commission

Water resource management

Sustainable water resource management; balancing the competing demands of domestic needs, agriculture, industry and the environment

Water-linked ecosystems

Sustainable utilization of the aquatic environment and biota

Water use and waste management

Management of waste and other water-polluting products; integrated solutions

Water utilization in agriculture

Efficient use of water for production of food, fibre, fuelwood and timber; water efficient production technologies, models and information systems

Water-centred knowledge

Knowledge-sharing and dissemination

Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

Environmental management

Systems of environmental monitoring and reporting; environmental management and planning; environmental education and capacity building; environmental legislation and implementation; environmental conflict management and conciliation; preventing and/or limiting pollution and environmental degradation


Conditions conducive to tourism growth and development

Biodiversity and conservation

Conservation of biodiversity; transfrontier conservation areas; protected areas

Department of Health

Health service delivery

Hospital services; disease prevention and control; non-personal health services; health and welfare

Strategic health programmes

Health information evaluation and research; medicines regulatory affairs; pharmaceutical services; district health systems; HIV/AIDS; maternal, child and women’s health

Department of Education

Higher education

Development and regulation of the higher education system

University of the North

Agricultural and environmental sciences; health sciences; computational and mathematical sciences; molecular and life sciences; physical and mineral sciences.

University of Pretoria

Natural and agricultural sciences; veterinary science; humanities; health

University of South Africa (distance education institution)

Geography and environmental studies; information science; agricultural management; animal health; horticulture; nature conservation; tourism management; water care

University of the North West

Agriculture, science and technology; human and social sciences

Tswane University of Technology

Agricultural management; animal production; nature conservation; horticulture; tourism management; biotechnology and food technology; environmental sciences; food and hospitality management; water care

Lowveldt Agricultural College

Specializes in agronomy and horticulture (tobacco, cotton, sugar cane, drybean production, vegetable, subtropical fruit and citrus under irrigation); supporting subjects are soil science, irrigation, plant propagation, computer practices, plant protection, botany, agricultural engineering and farm management. In addition to the diploma course, special and short courses are offered

# The National Department is primarily responsible for policy and issues of national implications. The provincial departments are charged with implementation.

## The Working for Water programme was launched in 1995 in an effort to tackle the problem of invading alien plants and unemployment. It is a multidepartmental initiative led by the Departments of Water Affairs and Forestry, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Agriculture. With 300 projects throughout the country, the programme aims to enhance water security, improve ecological integrity, restore the productive potential of land, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and invest in the most marginalized sectors of South African society.

Zimbabwe institutional environment




Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement

Agriculture, Technical and Extension Service (AGRITEX)

Agricultural extension, land use planning, soil and water conservation; irrigation development.

Land acquisition and rural resettlement

Land resettlement

Department of Research and Specialist Services

Agricultural research

Department of Water Resources and Development

Water resources management

Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services

Prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases and pests affecting livestock production and development

Ministry of Environment and Tourism

National Climate Committee

National focal point for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management

Management of parks and wildlife lands; use of indigenous plants and animals

Department of Natural Resources

Matters pertaining to natural resources, excluding minerals; environmentally sustainable development

Natural Resources Board

Custodian of the natural resources in Zimbabwe

Forestry Commission

All aspects of forestry: afforestation; protection of indigenous woodlands, advisory and extension services

Zimbabwe Tourist Development Cooperation

Promoting Zimbabwe as a tourist destination

Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and Development

Department of Water Development

Development of water resources; construction of dams, irrigation systems, water supply schemes; drilling of boreholes and wells

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA)

Office of the President

Research Council of Zimbabwe

Science and technology for development

Ministry of Health and Child Welfare

National AIDA coordination programme

Health services

Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development

Urban councils

Lead organization in smallholder irrigation development; Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme; supervisory role over local government

Rural district councils

Ward development committees

Village development committees

Ministry of Transport and Communications

Department of Meteorological Services

Monitoring and interpretation of regional climate systems

Parastatals and government stakeholder institutions

University of Zimbabwe

General academic training, including agriculture

Zimbabwe Open University

Distance teaching, including environmental science

Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA)

Agricultural and rural development on behalf of government

Regional Water Authority

Managing the water resources infrastructures in the irrigated lands of southeastern lowveldt

Pig Industry Board

Research and development; genetic improvement; advisory services; training programmes

Southern African Regional Institute for Policy Studies

Policy issues and public concerns, particularly in the areas of regional cooperation and integration, international cooperation, gender relations, social and public policy development technology and environment and economic policy

Tobacco Research Board

Research and investigative work in connection with both small- and large-scale production of tobacco


Agricultural Research Trust

Commercial food crop and horticultural research; facilities for contract research to the government, the university and to private agribusinesses

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