Assessment of Constraints and Opportunities of Small- Scale Irrigation Practices in South Tigray, Ethiopia

Hintsa Libseka Kidane Welde, Kiflom Degef


Improper irrigation management practices play a vital role in decreament of agricultural productivity. The findings of this paper were focused on technical performane assessment of small scale irrigation systems. The technical performance of the small scale irrigation schemes in relation to the water harvesting structures and delivery canals of all schemes were assessed technically in order to check whether they meet their objective and to distinguish their problems. Survey were undertaken to investigate the technical performance of the water harvesting structures and challenges on irrigation water utilization and management. Farmers, professional experts and other stakeholders were participated on the investigation of the technical performance of small scale irrigation schemes. Sedimentation, structural failure, untreated upper watershed, poor irrigation water management, lack of knowledge, lack of technical training, free grazing, lack of market access and transport problems are the bottlenack problems to the small scale irrigation schemes.  57.4 % of the small scale irrigation scheme beneficiaries are practicing both full and supplementary irrigation systems. The irrigation rounds per year are 24.6%, 55.7 % and 19.7% for three, tw and one times respectively. The irrigation intervals for cabbage, onion and maize are 12, 15 and 24 days respectively. Problems related to crop productions are shortage of technical training on irrigation water management, recurrent drought, free grazing, lack of market access, transport problems, flood hazard and disease and pest. These problems are getting beyond the beneficiaries capacity and they cannot able to maintain. Any concerned governmental and non-governmental body has to support the farmers by making maintenance and provision of neccessary trainings and accesses.

Keywords: irrigation, irrigation structure, performance indicators schemes, water management

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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