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Productivity of Water and Economic Benefits Associated with Deficit Irrigation Scheduling in Maize

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Igbadun, Henry E.; Mahoo, Henry F.; Tarimo, Andrew K.P.R.; Salim, Baanda A.
Conference: East African River Basin Conference
Location: Morogoro, Tanzania
Conf. Date: March 7-9
Date: 2005
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5040
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Subject(s): crops
water resources
economic behavior
Abstract: "Deficit irrigation scheduling is one way in which farmers practicing irrigation farming can cope with the pressure that has been put on them to reduce water used for crop production in order to release water for other sectors. A field experiment was carried out at the Igurusi ya Zamani indigenous irrigation scheme in Mkoji Sub-catchment of the Great Ruaha River Basin in Tanzania, during the 2004 dry season, to investigate deficit irrigation scheduling protocols for maize for better productivity of water and economic benefit. The results showed that an irrigation scheduling protocol which entails skipping every other irrigation event at vegetative growth stage of the crop (crop establishment to tasseling initiation), and maintaining a regular 7-day irrigation interval at other growth stages, gave the highest productivity of water. For example, the productivity of water in terms of evapotranspiration (PW(ETa)), and water applied (PW(irrigation)), were 0.58kg/m3 and 0.50kg/m3, respectively. The crop yield from the scheduling protocol was not significantly different (P=95%) from what was obtained from the treatment that received regular irrigation at 7-day irrigation interval throughout the crop-growing season. The economic benefit calculated for the scheduling protocol (in terms of water and labour saved compared with the yield lost) amounted to about 20,000 Tsh/ha for large farms water users and about 15,000 Tsh/ha for small farms water users. It is recommended that further research work be carried to evaluate the performance of the scheduling protocol across irrigation cropping seasons."

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