How to harness water for dry season farm irrigation –

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Set for drip irrigation

By observing the law of supply and demand, the prices of agricultural products in dry seasons are often much higher than in rainy seasons, because rain farming allows all farmers to process and collect almost simultaneously.

For example, tubers of yam are ridiculously cheap now, from the point of view of farmers who invested in its production.

About 90 percent of farmers in Nigeria collect their eggs between July and October.

Irrigation facilities allow farmers to outdo the law by harvesting in odd periods when agricultural products with rainwater are inaccessible.

Short stocks of irrigated crops always make prices grow.

Yam, cucumber, corn and watermelon to mention a few, more expensive from January to April.

Therefore, a wise farmer will always produce such periods.

And this is done by digging wells, wells, using dams and collecting rainwater in the irrigation tanks in the dry season.

How to collect water

How, then, can farmers optimize the current rainy season to produce a harvest with low pregnancy and get more profit?

Any small or large-scale agriculture in the dry season requires adequate planning, and this includes the collection of rainwater from September to November.

Small-scale farmers on one or two acres of land can save the cost of diving in a well or the cost of pumping water to irrigate a farm by collecting water in underground reservoirs or plastic tanks.

It was possible to buy several plastic containers from 6 000 to 10 000 liters, on several raised floors at the highest points on the land that will be used for irrigated agriculture.

From the raised floor, water can flow from the tanks into the crops through drip irrigation holes.

With the help of civil engineers and welders, underground or upper tanks can also be constructed on a farm and rainwater collected in them through improvised rainwater harvesting devices.

Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting

The cost of pumping water to irrigate a farm with energy generators is related to the cost of production, which makes operations unstable.

This cost is eliminated or drastically reduced when using and using rainwater.

If the collected water is inadequate, water can be fed daily for filing before harvest time.

And there are solar pumping machines that can reduce the cost of pumping water on a small farm with a small initial capital.

The profitability of farms increases due to a reduction in the cost of collecting water and solar pumping machines.

This increases the disposable income of farmers and their families, satisfying their basic needs and raising their standard of living.

Crops that can be irrigated

Due to the shortage and the need to save water, early ripening crops that can be planted in the dry season include cucumbers, sweet melon, watermelon, corn and the oak.

These cultures seem common, but when they are produced in the regular season, they turn into money.

Drip irrigation maximizes water use efficiency, excluding waste, as opposed to irrigation sprinkler systems or floods.

The drip system uses tiny holes on agricultural land, and drops of water fall out of the calibrated outlets from the holes in the bottom of the crops.

Thus, water is adequately used and good results are obtained.

Mr. Emmanuel Chukvoimeka, an irrigation specialist at Dizengoff Nigeria, said that the drip irrigation system gives the farmer maximum safety and reasonable use of water in growing crops.

Chukwuemeka added that the outlet or device in the drop system would give out one liter of water per hour, implying that 5000 plants would consume about 5,000 liters of water per hour.

One hour of irrigation is enough for plants in one day, which can be done 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.

Given the amount of water required, early maturing varieties of these crops are needed.

Professor Samuel Olakodjo, corn planter at the Institute for Agricultural Research and Training (IAR & T), Ibadan, said that the diversity of corn from 35 to 40 days of maturity is reasonable, saying that people will profit from their investments, the production season.

Cucumbers begin to bear fruit for about six weeks, which makes it one of the most suitable crops in this context.

Improved and early ripening varieties of watermelons and sweet melons ripen between 65 and 75 days, especially in the dry season with extended sunlight, which makes them ideal for small-scale irrigation in the dry season.

Economy of water harvesting

On one plot of land, it was possible to plant about 3,000 corn and reach maturity in 60-65 days.

Since fresh corn is always scarce and therefore expensive in dry seasons, farmers can sell cob at the N40 rate to retailers or directly to consumers.

3000 cobs of corn, sold each in N40, will give the farmer about N120,000, provided that he enjoys a good variety and respects the recommended intervals between plants.

This can be planted two or three times before the rainy season starts, and an increase in the number of sown areas can mean more income from agricultural activities.

About 180,000 liters of water will be needed for 3,000 pieces of corn within 60 days, and if the stored rainwater is insufficient, the farmer can add a well or well water.

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