Unpacking Negative Externalities of Social Capital in the Sustainability of Smallholder Rural Irrigation Farming: The Case of Rozva Irrigation Scheme in Bikita District, Zimbabwe
1Mthuthukisi Ncube, 2Funa Moyo, 3Sincere Tinovonga Mamhute
1Lecturer and Researcher: Gwanda State University, Filabusi, Zimbabwe
2Lecturer and Researcher: IDS, National University of Science and Technology
3Affiliate of Institute of Development Studies- National University of Science and Technology

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The article examines the negative externalities of social capital in the sustainability of smallholder irrigation farming. Smallholder irrigation farming has become one of the main sources of rural livelihood in Zimbabwe given the deficiencies in rainfall triggered by climate change among other factors. The establishment of smallholder irrigation schemes, refurbishment of irrigation infrastructure, introduction of new technology and the subsidization of farm inputs are several initiatives taken by the government of Zimbabwe, Non-Governmental organisations and the private sector to improving agricultural productivity among smallholder irrigation schemes. Despite these efforts, smallholder irrigation farming has remained unsustainable. Resultantly, most rural communities in Zimbabwe continue to face hunger and poverty, two overarching sustainable development goals (SDGs 1 & 2) one and two. This study examined the negative externalities of social capital on efforts to improve productivity and sustainability of Rozva smallholder irrigation scheme. The article argues that linking social capital, which includes partnerships between Rozva irrigation farmers and donor agencies, has created dependency syndrome that is inimical to the sustainability of the irrigation scheme. The article concludes some social connections detrimental to the sustainability of the scheme tend to create divisions among farmers. The article argues there is need for awareness on negative externalities of social capital and reduce these effects on the sustainability of the smallholder irrigation to realise social capital benefits among irrigation farming communities in Zimbabwe.


Social-capital, smallholder irrigation, SDGs, Conflict, sustainability


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