The Conditions And Earning Of Agricultural Villagers / Villages Practicing Irrigation Along River Ngada Maiduguri Borno State
Borno state is endowed with three major resources (Land, Water and Human Labor), an opportunity for intensive agriculture such as irrigation farming. Although small-scale irrigation provides wider benefits for the livelihood improvement of rural farm households, some of them owned irrigation while others not yet, due to different reasons. This irrigation ownership difference leads to household income disparity. To this end, this paper is aimed to analyze the effect of small-scale irrigation on households’ income. A two-stage sampling procedure was used to first select peasant associations and then sample respondents. Descriptive statistics and Heckman’s two-stage estimation were used to estimate the effects of small-scale irrigation on households’ income. The results of the study indicated that in addition to land and livestock, access and utilization to working capital is determinant for irrigation utilization decision that leads to better income. Irrigation users comparatively participate in social positions and owned comfortable residence homes than non-users. Formation of self-help cooperatives and saving-credit associations in rural areas bridges producers with their clientele solving the working capital deficiencies.
Borno State is a state in north-eastern Nigeria. Its capital is Maiduguri (sometimes known as ‘Yerwa’). Borno State occupies the greater part of the Chad Basin and is located in the North-Eastern corner of Nigeria. The State shares borders with the Republics of Niger to the North, Chad to the North-East and Cameroun to the East. Within Nigeria, Borno State shares boundaries with Adamawa State to the South, Gombe State to the West and Yobe State to the North-West. Borno State is one the states in Nigeria that practices irrigation in order to produces agricultural products at all season.
Irrigation is the method in which a controlled amount of water is supplied to plants at regular intervals for agriculture. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall. Additionally, irrigation also has a few other uses in crop production, which include protecting plants against frost, suppressing weed growth in grain fields and preventing soil consolidation. In contrast, agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed or dry land farming.
Irrigation systems are also used for dust suppression, disposal of sewage, and in mining. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given area.
Irrigation has been a central feature of agriculture for over 5,000 years and is the product of many cultures such as Borno state.
Unreliable rainfall, recurrent drought and limited use of the available water resources, coupled with heavy reliance on rain-fed subsistence agriculture, have contributed adversely to the economy of Nigeria. In fact, the World Bank (2006) estimates that unmitigated hydrological variability currently costs the economy over one-third of its growth potential and leads to 25 percent increase in poverty rates. Hence, enhancing public and private investment in irrigation development has been identified as one of the core strategies aimed to de-link economic performance from rainfall and to enable sustainable growth and development. In the government policy documents, irrigation development is identified as an important tool to stimulate sustainable economic growth and rural development and is considered as a corner stone of food security and poverty reduction.
Irrigation is expected to contribute to the national economy in several ways. At the micro level, irrigation could lead to an increase in yield per hectare and subsequent increases in income, consumption and food security.
1.2 Objective Of The Study
Increase in agricultural production and productivity depends, to a large extent, on the availability of water. Hence, the importance of irrigation is, however, the availability of irrigation facilities which is highly inadequate along river Ngada Maiduguri Borno State. The objective of this work is to discuss how irrigation contributes to the agricultural earning of farmers along river Ngada Maiduguri Borno State.
The second objective of this study, hence, was to estimate the net contribution of irrigation to farmers along river Ngada Maiduguri Borno State. This study attempted only to capture the direct benefits of irrigation to national economy for a given year (2005/2006) using a farm gate value approach and made forecasts on its future contribution based on the projected annual growth-rate of irrigated areas. In so doing, we tried to determine how much irrigation is contributing and will contribute to national income relative to rain fed agriculture.
1.3 Scope Of The Study
In irrigated agriculture, water taken up by crops is partly or totally provided through human intervention. Irrigation water is withdrawn from a water source (river, lake or aquifer) and led to the field through an appropriate conveyance infrastructure. To satisfy their water requirements, irrigated crops benefit from both more or less unreliable natural rainfall, and from irrigation water. Irrigation provides a powerful management tool against the vagaries of rainfall and makes it economically attractive to grow high-yield seed varieties and to apply adequate plant nutrition as well as pest control and other inputs, thus giving room for a boost in yields.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
1. It generates income:
Irrigation is expected to contribute to the national economy in several ways. At the micro level, irrigation could lead to an increase in yield per hectare and subsequent increases in income, consumption and food security
2. Higher productivity on irrigated land:
Productivity on irrigated land is considerably more than the productivity on un-irrigated land.
3. Multiple cropping possible:
Since Borno state has a tropical and sub-tropical climate, it has potentialities to grow crops on a year-round basis.
However, since 80% of the annual rainfall is received in less than four months, multiple cropping is generally not possible. Provision of irrigation facilities can make possible the growing of two or three crops in a year in most areas of the country. This will considerably enhance agricultural production and productivity.
4. Role in new agricultural strategy:
The successful implementation of the High Yielding Programme enhances agricultural production to a great extent.
5. Bringing more land under cultivation:
Provision of irrigation facilities can make some portion of this land cultivable.
6. Reduces instability in output levels:
Irrigation helps in stabilizing the output and yield levels. It also plays a protective role during drought years. Since both income and employment are positively and closely related to output, prevention of fall in output during drought is an important instrument for achieving stability of income and employment in the countryside. Irrigation has enabled many states to acquire ‘partial immunity’ from drought.
7. Indirect benefits of irrigation:
Irrigation confers indirect benefits through increased agricultural production. Employment potential of irrigated lands, increased production, helps in developing allied activities; means of water transport etc. are improved income of government from agriculture. Availability of regular water supply will increase the income of farmers imparting a sense of security and stability in agriculture.
1.5 Irrigation Potential And Sources Of Irrigation
The principal sources of irrigation in Borno state can be divided into the following:
- Lake or Aquifer
Approximately 90% of the irrigated areas in along river Ngada Maiduguri Borno State is watered by the rivers. Tanks are constructed for storing water in rainy season which is subsequently used for irrigation purposes.
1.6 Limitations Of Irrigation
Despite large-scale investment and expansion of irrigation facilities, it is a matter of serious concern that about 60 per cent of the total cropped area is still dependent on rain. There are a number of problems related to irrigation and they have to be solved.
(1) Delays in completion of projects:
The biggest problem in our major and medium irrigation sectors right from the time has been the tendency to start more and more new projects resulting in wanton proliferation of projects. There is also delay in utilization of potentials already present. In most of the projects, there have been delays in construction of field channels and water courses, land leveling and land shaping.
(2) Inter-state water disputes:
Development of water resource is, therefore, being planned by states individually taking into account their own needs and requirement. However, all major rivers are inter-state in character. As a result, differences with regard to storage, priorities and use of water arise between different states. Narrow regional outlook brings inter-state rivalries over distribution of water supply.
(4) Water-logging and salinity:
Introduction of irrigation has led to the problem of water-logging and salinity in some of the states. Water can be affected by salinity/alkalinity in the irrigated commands.
(5) Increasing cost of irrigation:
The cost of providing irrigation has been increasing over the years.
(6) Losses in operating irrigation projects:
While just prior to Independence public irrigation schemes showed a surplus after meeting working expenses and other charges. The position deteriorated considerably in the post-Independence period.
(7) Decline in water table:
There has been a steady decline in water table in the recent period in several parts of the country, especially in the western dry region, on account over exploitation of ground water and insufficient recharge from rain water.
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