The Impact of Soil Erosion as a Food Security and Rural Livelihoods Risk in South Africa

  •  Ikponmwosa Ighodaro    
  •  Francois Lategan    
  •  Wiseman Mupindu    


This study evaluates soil erosion/attrition as a major food security and rural livelihoods risk in South Africa, with the Upper and Lower Areas of Didimana, Eastern Cape Province, as a case study. The survey research method was adopted for the study. Farmers and extension officers’ behaviours relating to soil erosion control was negative even though the impact of erosion in the area was high. Approximately 75% of farmers indicated that they lose more than 21% of their crops yearly due to erosion and 55% said their crops and livestock, as well as their household feeding, suffer due to the problem. The results of the multiple linear regression analysis indicate that farm yield and farmers’ access to market are positively related to farmers’ adoption tendencies regarding erosion control, implying that farmers are more willing to adopt recommendations if their yields and access to market can increase. Similarly, age of farmers is positively related with erosion impact, indicating that older people have a higher tendency to cause erosion in the study area. This is true, as the area consists more of older people, who are generally known to resist change, thus low in adoption. Therefore, it is perceived that if farmers manage soil erosion appropriately, they will achieve higher yields. More so, pull factors like improved rural infrastructures and adequate agricultural incentives for youths are suggested to lure more youth in taking into farming in the study area.

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