Rainwater harvesting: A suitable poverty reduction strategy for small-scale farmers in developing countries?

L. A. Bunclark, B. A. Lankford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Using Botswana as a case study, the paper examines the factors that determine the suitability of rainwater harvesting (RWH) in small-scale agriculture in developing countries and proposes a decision-making matrix that may be used to assess the technology for increasing crop production and reducing poverty. This study indicates that current potential for increases in crop production through the use of RWH in both Botswana and developing countries as a whole is uncertain; primarily because of impacts of long-term climate variability, alterations to rural livelihood strategies as a result of economic development, and other structural constraints. In summary it is shown that the suitability of RWH for increasing crop production and reducing poverty in developing countries depends on factors related to climate and ecology, farming practices, availability of assets, livelihood strategies, national governance, and community and catchment institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-327
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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