Mr Odwa Gqozo

Level of Study: 
Agriculture Extension
Rural communities’ challenges on land use planning programmes in Zihlahleni Location of Nkonkobe Municipality, Eastern Cape Province

Land-use planning is the systematic assessment of natural resources, such as land, water biodiversity and other socio-economic land-use practices in order to select and adopt the best land-use options. South Africa faces issues of land degradation, as a result of mismanagement of natural resources such as   overgrazing of land and deforestation.   This has resulted in declining agricultural activities. This study explores land use planning for farming households in the rural communities of Nkonkobe, Eastern Cape Province through a triangulation approach blending qualitative and quantitative research techniques. The major findings of the study revealed that 60% of the sampled households owned arable land but face severe soil erosion challenges, and has resulted in poor agricultural productivity.  However, only 30% participated in traditional land use programmes such as traditional land care management of natural resources, and this could be attributed to the challenges that rural communities are facing with regards to implementation of land use programmes. Some of these challenges include financial, institutional and technical knowhow. Therefore, there is need for stakeholder support for the community or households to adopt sustainable land conservation practices to enhance their agricultural productivity. This can only be achieved through careful planning and involvement at all levels.