Smallholder Decision Support System


The Project

The Water Research Commission supported a 4-year adaptive research process entitled: “Collaborative knowledge creation and mediation strategies for the dissemination of water and soil conservation practices and climate smart agriculture in smallholder farming systems”.

This process developed an adaptation platform for smallholder farmers in Community based climate Change adaptation. The outputs of this process were as follows:

  • A choice of appropriate, tested Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) practices and technologies for implementation at homestead and field level across a range of bioclimatic regions
  • A locally relevant decision support system (DSS) for implementing CRA practices in smallholder farming systems in South Africa
  • Baskets of options for use at community level for introduction of concepts, awareness raising and implementation, across a range of bioclimatic regions
  • Recommendations for appropriate knowledge mediation, learning and dissemination strategies for CRA in smallholder farming systems and
  • A model for community- based monitoring of CRA indicators.

On this site you will find summary reports outlining the implementation, indicators and impacts of a range of CRA practices, a survey tool for conducting and individual decision support process to choose practices appropriate for your situation and learning resources, including a facilitation manual, visual aids and farmer handouts.

A follow up process is now underway (2022-2025): Dissemination and scaling of a decision support framework for CCA for smallholder farmers in South Africa. This process will provide the following outputs:

  • Development and dissemination of a bespoke model for CbCCA across multiple stakeholders including communities, civil society and government.
  • Development of evidence-based indicators for monitoring resilience impact.
  • Development and promotion of new models and processes for community ownership of water access and
  • Provision of guidelines and handbooks for programming in local food systems development and effective smallholder microfinance and enterprise development support.