Management of Flood-Based Farming in Guguf, Northern Ethiopia

Girmay A.


Spate irrigation is the source of moisture for crop production in the semi-arid lowlands of Raya Valley. Despite its higher potential to suport rainfed agriculture, management of flood based farming has received less emphasis. Thus, the study attempted to examine the management of floods across the Guguf irrigation schemes. Survey data were collected from 78 households selected using systematic sampling in 2018. Data were analyzed using desriptive statistics, Chi- square and one-way ANOVA. Results showed that the participation of every farmer in the operation and maintenance activities is mandatory to receive flood. The rule of water distribution based on individual farmer‘s contribution helps to mobilize the minimum labor required to run the spate system. Frequent operation and maintenance activities carried out in upstream canals due to erosive flashy floods. The effect of scheme location was significant overall, F (2, 75) = 24.42, p = 0.000, η2= .48. Maize planted in Kusra, the lower scheme, has failed during its early growth stage more clarify the situation. Despite the location based flood water distribution among primary canals, distribution within the canal starts first by drawing lottery among the head, middle and tail users. In using the flood, users gradually developed different traditional water rights and distribution rules including the rule for operation and maintenance of the spate system. Instead of the present location based flood distribution that favors to farmers at the head of the spate system, even a small flood can be sufficient if allocated based on crop type and growth stage.

Keywords: Guguf, management, flood-based farming, allocation, Northern Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/JAAS/61-02

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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