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Assessing the viable agricultural land use options after clearing invasive alien plants in the Mokolo Catchment, Limpopo Province, South Africa

T. Morokong, J. N. Blignaut, N. P. Nkambule, T. Vundla and S. Mudavanhu

Agrekon, 2018, vol. 57, issue 3-4, 266-283

Abstract: The spread of invasive alien plant species (IAPs) contributes to the management complexity experienced in primary agriculture and increases the costs of maintaining the land in its productive state. Equally important to the clearing of IAPs are the land use options post-clearing. This study was conducted on private farms at the Mokolo River catchment to determine the most viable agricultural land use option after clearing IAPs. System dynamics modelling is used as a data analysis tool. The outcomes of this study indicate that early restoration of the farm area invaded by IAPs is more beneficial than restoring when the area is heavily degraded. Some of the gains from early restoration are a minimum unit reference value (URV) of R7.05 (instead of R8.29 or R9.08) per cubic metre of water produced by clearing IAPs through a co-financing strategy by the private sector and the state. Moreover, a negative net income is generated through extensive agricultural production while positive net income is generated though intensive agricultural production from 2008–2030. Therefore, this study suggests that intensive agricultural production is economically viable and has the potential to co-finance the government’s activities of clearing IAPs.

Date: 2018
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