IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Critical Evaluation of the Capital Theory Approach to Sustainable Development


  • de Wit, M.P.
  • Blignaut, J.N.


Irrigation farmers in the lower reaches of the Vaal and Riet Rivers are experiencing substantial yield reductions in certain crops and more profitable crops have been withdrawn from production, hypothesised, as a result of generally poor but especially fluctuating water quality. In this paper secondary data is used in a linear programming model to test this hypothesis by calculating the potential loss in farm level optimal returns. The model is static with a time frame of two production seasons. Linear crop-water quality production functions (Ayers & Westcot, 1983; adapted from Maas & Hoffmann, 1977) are used to calculate net returns for the eight most common crops grown. Results show optimal enterprise composition under various water quality situations. Leaching is justified financially and there is a strong motivation for a change in the current water pricing system. SALMOD (Salinity and Leaching Model for Optimal irrigation Development) is the Excel Solver model used to derive the preliminary results, but is currently being developed further in GAMS (General Algebraic Modelling System). Useful results have already been obtained on which this paper is based. The ultimate aim for SALMOD is a mathematical model using dynamic optimisation, simulation and risk modelling techniques to aid in whole farm and system level management decisions to ensure sustainable irrigation agriculture under stochastic river water quality conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • de Wit, M.P. & Blignaut, J.N., 2000. "A Critical Evaluation of the Capital Theory Approach to Sustainable Development," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 39(1), March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:56172

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kijne, J. W. & Prathapar, S. A. & Woperis, M. C. S. & Sahrawat, K. L., 1998. "How to manage salinity in irrigated lands: a selective review with particular reference to irrigation in developing countries," IWMI Books, Reports H009257, International Water Management Institute.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Borish, David & King, Nia & Dewey, Cate, 2017. "Enhanced community capital from primary school feeding and agroforestry program in Kenya," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 10-18.
    2. Anna Maltseva, 2016. "System of dynamic norms as a basis for sustainable development management of territories of innovative development," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 6(1), pages 1-27, December.

    More about this item


    International Development;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:56172. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.